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Miscellaneous - Interview

  by Sarah Rowland

published: 28 / 11 / 2005

Miscellaneous - Interview


Only 20, Carlisle-born, but now Bristol-based singer-songwriter Rose Kemp has recently signed to One Little Indian Records. She chats to Sarah Johnson about touring, her latest EP and forthcoming new album

Touring the country did not start off too well for singer-songwriter Rose Kemp. After the first gig of her tour in Newport, she lost her voice and was forced to pull out of shows in Oxford, Cardiff and London. She was back on her feet, however, for a stunning performance at Carlisle’s The Brickyard, silencing the crowd with an acappella opener. At only 20 years old, Carlisle-born Rose has already released an album and signed with her second label, One Little Indian Records. This year alone she has played nearly 80 gigs, a testament to how good she is live. Alone on the stage Rose creates a captivating atmosphere. Her voice has a strong rich quality which brings to mind PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman, Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake. The accompaniment of electric guitar heightens the rock elements of Rose’s music with instrumentals that sound a little like Mogwai and The Mars Volta. Rose now lives in Bristol, where the music scene is currently nurturing some of the most out-there bands around. “I reckon it's the best experimental music scene in the country” she says. “There is a really brilliant little scene. The sheer amount of great gigs that go on there, and each one as inspiring as the next. There are an abundance of lovely, open minded musicians who are always up for hearing something a bit off the wall.” SJ Esau is one such artist, who also happened to support Rose on her recent November tour. Along with musician and friend Max Milton, he creates a lot of noise with various instruments and computer programmes which some how manages to come out sounding amazingly good and very "off the wall" indeed. This new friendship between SJ Esau and Rose Kemp has resulted in a side project called Jeremy Smoking Jacket. Rose enjoys having another outlet and the freedom of Jeremy Smoking Jacket. She says “it was formed partly just because I wanted to work with SJ Esau and Max Milton and also to keep me from going mad and to make sure I never took myself too seriously." “We're an experimental, fun, mostly improvising band so it's a chance to let go and roll around on the floor and say all the things that Rose Kemp wouldn't say. Jeremy can say anything....and sometimes does!” Rose has come a long way from her acoustic debut released on Park Records when she was only 17 years old. Her myspace web page gives the impression she is glad to have moved on from that gentler style. “I came to realise pretty quickly that rejection is a natural process. I think most creative people have shunned the fruits of their earlier labours in favour of new work,” she says. “I didn't have as much say at the production stage as I would have liked to but I realise more each day that the songs aren't bad for a 15-16 year old. I'm just my very worst critic." “It told me from then on that I wanted to make records my way and with as little compromise as possible, but, if I'd had my way, it probably would have been some lame trip-hop album or something equally as tragic so at least it's classic acoustic.” Rose has travelled all over Britain playing gigs. Some of her favourite venues include; The Luminaire in London, The Cavern in Exeter, The Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff and home town favourites The Brickyard and The Source Café. Growing up in Carlisle Rose likes to think there is a little bit of home still in her music. "My sound is very unique and I think that's due 60 per cent to the way I am and 40 per cent to where I come from. I am Cumbrian and therefore my music will always have an underlying current of home in it for me." Rose has an EP of her newer material available at gigs and through her website. The CD is a satisfying taster of what is to come from her next album and is definitely worth a listen if you are a fan of PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Cat Power or Jeff Buckley. Rose Kemp is about to go very far with her distinctive sound and breathtaking live performances. She is a flower of talent not to be missed.

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Miscellaneous - Interview

Miscellaneous - Interview

Miscellaneous - Interview

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