Gallic songstress Kat Cross can’t wait to make it to Ireland, she tells Alison Lee
Even the staunchest patriot would be hard-pressed to think of something good to say about Ireland right now. Look at the economy, the floods, the snow, the government… is there anything other countries would envy about us?
Yes, actually: our music industry. Kat Cross and Trevor O’Neill, of the band Kat Cross & Talkative, can’t wait to bringing their live show to our shores. Trevor is of Irish extraction while Kat hails from Toulouse. On being asked if it’s difficult for musicians to make their mark in France, she replies instantly. “I think it’s difficult – we don’t have the same culture as you; you are in a great part of the world for music!” Trevor adds that in France, “It’s a more complicated affair” for artists to get a foothold. So, fellow citizens, we have one thing to smile about.
The band kicks off their first international tour here in UCD on 22nd February, followed by dates in Trinity, Crawdaddy, Roisín Dubh in Galway and Electric Avenue in Waterford. They’ll be playing alongside local acts – as Trevor puts it, “It allows us to make the most of having a different audience. We’re not an obscure band, we’re very successful but we’re not known in Ireland.”
A lucky encounter with famous trip-hop artist Tricky was instrumental in ushering Kat’s music into the spotlight. According to Kat, “I met him in 2003 in Toulouse. I gave him a CD and he called me two days later and said ‘Your music is beautiful, I want to help you.’” Trevor adds, “When somebody famous believes in what you’re doing, it gives you a big boost of confidence.”
What is it about Kat’s music that gets even big names in the electronica industry like Tricky so excited? It is ambient and melodic, transcending genre with soft vocals sung in English (“My musical culture is more English than French,” explains Kat, though citing French poet Serge Gainsbourg as a major influence).
Kat’s live act, currently incorporating an experimental visual show orchestrated by artist Natasha Kail, has contributed to their popularity in France. “For me it’s important, because it adds something more to the music – I’m in a wheelchair so I’m static on stage,” she explains.
Kat’s second album Déjà Vu is to be released this month. Described as displaying “a lot more musical maturity” than the first album and being “more direct,” this brief Irish tour paves the way for the release. “It’s going to be a hectic week but we’re looking forward to it!” laughs Trevor.
Kat Cross & Talkative play the UCD Student Bar on Monday 22nd February.