Kate Stables: 'My 2019 has been lots of distance travelled in a relatively short space of time, spiritually and geographically'

This article is from 2019

This is the Kit

This Is The Kit leader discusses travelling, working with the National and life in Paris

'It feels like everything that's ever happened to me or This is the Kit has been a fluke or a one-off,' says Kate Stables, who is both the artist who bears that alias and the leader of the sparse folk-rock group who use the name. The question is whether or not she can pinpoint the moment This is the Kit shifted from the underground to the kind of group which plays the Edinburgh International Festival.

'I think it depends on who you ask about us,' she says. 'Most people still haven't heard of us, so might think of us as an "underground" band, but some people have been listening to our albums since the first one in 2007 and consider us to be pretty mainstream and around for ages. Old hat!' She's communicating from the road in America, midway through both a journey between tour dates in Los Angeles and Portland, and a year which began with a trip to Morocco for the BBC's Sound Odyssey series. 2019 has also included a Glastonbury appearance and recording and touring with The National.

'Their new album is such a pleasure to sing on and they're all so great to work with, that's been another huge highlight,' says Stables. 'My 2019 has been lots of distance travelled in a relatively short space of time, spiritually and geographically.' It's a long way, certainly, for a singer raised in Winchester (where she went to school with her bandmate Rozi Plain), made in Bristol and now based in Paris.

'It's home, and I'm missing it a lot at the moment, having been away so much recently,' she says. 'There's no way of knowing what my life would have been like if I hadn't moved to France, but it feels like I've learned so much from living there. I need a lot of solitude to write, though, so the new album is going pretty slowly at the moment. It feels like I've got about 43% of it written – I've just got to say "no" to some gigs for a while to get the rest finished!'

Leith Theatre, 13 Aug, 7pm, £25.

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This Is The Kit

An exceptional songwriter and gifted storyteller, This Is The Kit is the much-beloved musical project of Kate Stables, whose intriguing lyrics and minimalist arrangements make her one of the most captivating voices in UK music. Based in Bristol and Paris, Kate has released four albums to date. Her first, 2008’s Krulle Bol…

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