Going Underground :: Doll & The Kicks

© Emma Stone Photography

“You’ll be hard pressed to find a better live band right now”

Going Underground has tended to be the realm of Mr. Critchley and local punk bands. Not that I have anything against either of them, but I’m here to broaden your musical palette with a band that are bound to have you dancing and singing along in no time…Doll & The Kicks.

Their unique sound and elaborate, high energy, performances have made the Brighton based foursome one of the must see bands of the past few years. Their unique brand of danceable, punk infused, pop has captured the attention of music lovers around the world, now they’re back gracing stages across the UK and Europe until the end of November.

Having missed the majority of their set in Manchester earlier this month, I caught them in Leeds on Monday and was, once again, blown away. I must’ve seen them live five times now, each show better than the last. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better live band right now.

These guys are bound for big things and rightly so. Be sure to catch them on one of the following dates:

Sneaky Pete’s – Edinburgh – Oct. 7th

The Classic Grand – Edinburgh – Oct. 8th

The Flapper – Birmingham – Oct. 9th

Hoxton Bar & Kitchen – London – Oct. 13th

The Kraken Wakes – Portsmouth – Oct. 14th

Louisiana – Bristol – Oct 15th

The band’s new double-A side single ‘Skeletons/The First Time’ was released on September 20th and it’s bloody brilliant! You can order a physical copy for some bonus track goodness, or download it on iTunes. For more songs, dates and to buy t-shirts and whatnot check out their MySpace page. Also be sure to check out Emma Stone’s other photos from the Leeds show here.

Podcast :: Under The Bridge – Episode 3: Limited To 1,000 Hand Numbered Copies!

“I’ve had three cans of cider in a very short time, and I am angry” – Ian Critchley

So we’re back with a third episode. This week we talk even more shit, but it’s less drunken. Our main topic this week is on music awards and more Jonah Matranga stuff (there’s some awesome quotes for you). We’ve also got a lot of news to get through, a more current what we’ve been listening to and we actually have emails!

Also: Ian and I speak French, Ian expresses his love for Derek Perry and we have some Blink-182 skits in here too!

Go on, have a listen:

Under The Bridge – Episode 3: Limited To 1,000 Hand Numbered Copies!

Show Notes

Under The Bridge Podcast  – Episode 3: Limited To 1,000 Hand Numbered Copies!
With: Anthony Barlow & Ian Critchley
Guests: N/A

Hello and welcome to Episode 3 of Under The Bridge, the official podcast of Moon & Back Music. My name’s Anthony Barlow, assistant editor at Moon & Back. Moon & Back’s official drunkard, Ian Critchley is with me too. How’s it going?
So last week was more of a success than the last and we hope to continue that trend with the third episode. We also received a little bit of criticism and some kind words for, one, John Berna. More from him later on. First we’d better do the news, because there’s loads of it.

  • News
    • Frank Turner’s finished some demos!
      • New EP supposedly coming in November
      • New single ‘Try This At Home’ out now!
        • Get the 7” from Banquet Records
    • AC/DC to release new live album
    • Alice Cooper auditioning for freaks
    • The Starting Line confirm new tour
    • No word on any UK dates
    • The Misfits to play Reading/Leeds?
    • Nope. It was a misquote.
    • Chuck Ragan to support Gaslight?
    • It’s not like we know anything about this *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*
    • Yellowcard are coming back
      • New album out early next year
    • Deadmau5 collapses on stage in Washington, DC
    • Lady Gaga avoids sex because she fears her creativity will suffer
    • No, it’s because she’s actually a bloke!
    • Justin Bieber is working on his memoirs
    • Argentina/Barcelona footballer, Lionel Messi to form Oasis cover band
      • This is the best news ever.
    • Fake Problems have won Moon & Back’s ‘Best Album Of 2010’ award, even before the album has been released.
  • Main Topic
    • Awards. Who gives a shit?
    • Sub topic: 10 Reasons: Why Jonah Matranga could get you laid
  • What Anthony’s Been Listening To (in chronological order, haha)
    • Fake Problems – ‘Soulless’
    • Jonah Matranga/Onelinedrawing
    • The Lawrence Arms – Apathy & Exhaustion
    • Blink-182
    • Myles Pereira
    • Alan Pownall
    • Marilyn Manson
  • What Ian’s Been Listening To
    • Above Them
    • Chillerton
    • Myles Pereira
    • Joy Division
    • Billy Talent
  • Emails
    • I think you guys should try and focus on more current releases in your ‘listening to sections’ – Chris Clark
    • Much love for John Berna – Anon.
  • John Berna’s Words Of Wisdom
    • “Better to cum on her than in her” – John Berna (2010)

Album Review :: Doll & The Kicks – ‘Show Your Bones: Live 2009’

After having it released from the captivity of the printers, Show Your Bones is finally here. As expected, it’s another great release from one of the UK’s most exciting unsigned acts.

Granted we’re only two months into 2010, but I’m sure Doll & The Kicks will be one of my favorite gig going experiences this year. For anyone who didn’t manage to catch them this time around the guys have released a new live album.

The nine-track disc, recorded during Morrissey’s Tour Of Refual, contains a lot of fan favourite tracks from their first release and three new ones.. The standout tracks have to be What Goes Around – one of the new ones, Roll Up The Red Carpet and If You Care (if you read my gig review, you’ll already know that’s a favorite of mine). The new material is great and it’s great to have songs like Fire, You Do It Better and, the aforementioned, What Goes Around available to listen to on the go.

As much as I like the album, it’s no replacement for seeing Doll & The Kicks in the flesh. I’ve already said that the band are at their best live and, although this is a good representation of that, the album just doesn’t have the same kind of energy that a DATK gig does. I’m not saying it’s bad. In fact, it’s far from that. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy it. I just knew it would be hard to capture a live experience like this in a recording.

This a really good second release from Doll & The Kicks. It’s a good live album, but it fails to capture what it is that makes their gigs such a great experience. That’s not to say you shouldn’t buy this, in fact it’s quite the opposite. For fans of the band, this is a must buy and I strongly recommend it to those who’re just getting into them. It’s good to hear some of the new stuff outside of the gigs and well worth your money.

Buy this album and all your other Doll & The Kicks merchandise here. Check out the band on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter too.

Interview :: Doll & The Kicks

The last interview with Doll & The Kicks didn’t really go too swimmingly. There were some technical problems that really didn’t help. With this, I felt it necessary to make amends with the guys and do a ‘proper’ interview. Crossing my fingers in the hope there were no hiccups, we chatted about that night in Liverpool, proper gig going etiquette and what we can expect from DATK in the future.

Anthony Barlow: So, last time we spoke it was a little bit of a shambles. Technology wasn’t on my side and I lost a lot of what I wanted to say.

Doll: We thought it went fine.

AB: Thanks. I did manage to recover some of those questions though. They’d have probably been better used in the first interview, but it should be alright. So, let us begin. Previously you guys have said you were all in different bands in the past, how exactly was it that you got together?

Doll: Matt?

Matt: Oh, this old chestnut. We had all moved to Brighton and we were always the ones who liked the same kind of cheesy 80’s tunes.

Doll: We were always at the same club nights

Matt: We all had a mutual love for

Chris: Toto

Matt: Toto especially.

Doll: We thought that rather than going out and getting drunk all the time, maybe we should try doing something productive. So we’d stay in, get drunk and do music. *laughs*

Matt: Plus, Brighton’s a small place so we’d always bump into each other all the time.

AB: You were all in very different bands as well, weren’t you?

Matt: Mine was kind of a…

Chris: Hair rock *laughs*

Matt: Rocky, Guns N Roses mixed with Foo Fighters or something like that.

Olivier: I was in a ska band. Madness-esque with a bit of punk.

Chris: and I was in a kind of…

Matt: Britney Spears tribute band

All: *laughs*

Chris: Mainly, but the odd time we’d do a sort of screamy, proggy, metally kinda thing.

Doll: Prog, screamy, emo. Before I moved to Brighton I was in a funk soul band. I’d also been in a dance band previously as well. I did a lot of chillout stuff with a partner.

Chris: She chilled out with her partner.

All: *laughs*

Doll: Yeah we really chilled out and just recorded it

Matt: Was it good stuff?

Doll: It was a bit quiet

AB: Ok *laughs*. Doll, you were recently described as Cindy Lauper on speed. How do you feel about that?

Doll: Who described me as Cindy Lauper on speed?

Olivier: It’s actually crack, not speed.

Doll: *laughs* yeah, make that smack or crack. No I love Cindy Lauper…

Matt: And Crack

All: *laughs*

Doll: Yeah, and smoking crack. No, it’s good to be compared to anyone I like.

AB: Before I forget, someone asked me to find out how you felt about having more stage time than Morrissey in Liverpool?

Doll: It was very disappointing at the time, because obviously we were worried about Morrissey and we were upset for everyone who didn’t get to see him. It wasn’t a great experience.

Matt: It wasn’t, but we did get a lot of messages for the next few days after that show. A lot of people saying that we made their trip worthwhile, so that was good.

AB: I actually saw a lot of people sporting Doll & The Kicks t-shirts on the way in, seemingly happy to see you just as much as Morrissey. Did you expect that kind of reaction?

Doll: Yeah, we had quite a lot of people coming into the Morrissey gigs wearing our t-shirts which was amazing. They’ve paid to see Morrissey, but they’re wearing our t-shirts. That was pretty cool.

AB: One thing that stuck in my mind from that night, other than the obvious, was something you said on stage actually. It was something along the lines of “We’re going to play a new song now. The again, they’re all new to you”. I thought that was brilliant.

Doll: Well most people still don’t know who we are, so every song was new. We might play the same thing every night, so it feels repetitive to us. To everyone else it’s all new.

AB: It’s criminal that people don’t know who you are, yet bands like Delphic are the talk of the town. Is there any news on you guys sorting a deal out?

Matt: I don’t think we’re necessarily looking for a record deal really. We recently got a really good booking agent and we’ve been booked for small festivals and stuff.

Doll: Yeah, we’re starting to build a really great team of people around us now so it’s exciting.

AB: You’re playing South By South West aren’t you this year?

Doll: Yeah, it’s really exciting.

Matt: Yeah, we’ve got one official show there and we’ll do a lot of unofficial ones whilst we’re out there. It’s gonna be really good.

AB: You’ve sort of got a worldwide fan base now, how does that feel?

Matt: It’s good. I saw we were sending t-shirts to Moscow in Russia.

Doll: It’s amazing to see how many more people there’s been on this second tour that we’re doing compared to the first and if it keeps building and building then that’d be really good.

AB: Outside of the UK, where do you think you have the largest amount of fans then?

Chris: Germany?

Matt: Germany on the Morrissey tour was phenomenal.

Doll: We had quite a lot of people come to the second LA show.

Matt: Yeah, there was a lot of people at that gig. We’ve got a German booking agent and they’re great with us. So I think Germany might be the biggest and then America.

AB: You said last time that the amount of people coming to your gigs had gone up after the Tour Of Refusal, have you seen a similar rise again after the one Swords Tour?

Doll: Yeah. We were pleased with the turn out on our first headlining tour. We were pleased with the amount of people that came, but this time there’s been a lot more. Obviously, there were people who came last time who’re now bringing people with them.

Matt: We still rely a lot on word of mouth and stuff like Facebook and Twitter to get the word out. They’re good crowds.

AB: There’s a lot of big bands using that kind of stuff as well and it proves that it is a good way to promote.

Matt: It’s so much fun and we feel really lucky to be able to do this.

Chris: It’s extremely satisfying when you know you’ve done it yourself as well. It’s gonna be quite weird if it ever gets to the point where we have to hand it over to someone else. Especially if they’re a nightmare to work for.

AB: Would you ever really want to hand over that work to someone else then?

Doll: Yeah, eventually.

Chris: We’d have to eventually, because it’d just get too much.

Matt: I think we’ll always, whoever we work with, will always keep a keen interest in what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. They’d probably appreciate that as well.

AB: We spoke a bit about your debut album last time, but not too much. It seems a lot of that material was based around relationships and particularly the breakdown of relationships. Do those themes continue throughout your recent stuff?

Doll: Some of it is.

Matt: I think it’s more objective actually. Songs like ‘What Goes Around’ and ‘You Do It Better’.

Doll: But they’re still about relationships, but I just write about stuff that happens to me really.

AB: Can we expect another studio album any time soon?

Doll: When we get the time and the money. That probably won’t be for a while.

Matt: We might do an EP with just five tracks or something like that.

Chris: Did you mention the live album, I can’t remember?

AB: I was just about to get on to that. Will that be on sale at tonight’s show?

Chris: No, because we’re waiting to get it back from the printers. We had to, basically, save up enough money to buy it from the printer.

Doll: They were holding it hostage. They printed it, but we didn’t have the money to give them.

Chris: We should have it by the end of the week and it’s got about four new tracks on it.

Matt: I think it’s three new ones.

AB: What was the decision behind recording a live album?

Chris: Well our sound engineer did recordings of every gig we did with Morrissey so it just seemed to make sense really. We had these recordings and we don’t have the money to record good versions of the new stuff so it’s kind of a half way point between.

Matt: A lot of people want copies of the new stuff and we’re hoping by the end of the week we’ll have the new album.

AB: In one of my past interviews someone brought up the idea of people getting a CD or USB sick with the gig on as they left. Is that something you’ve thought about or would be interested in doing?

Matt: We’re quite critical about some of the gigs so if we didn’t like a certain part of a show, it’s not something we’d want to put out.

Chris: We had to actually replace all the bass parts with program bass.

Olivier: Not really

AB: I was gonna say. You know what the people of the internet are like. That’ll be a known fact soon.

Olivier: *laughs* I’d love it if that actually went out. It’d be awesome.

Matt: Our whole show is backing track.

AB: So, how’s the tour going? I realise that should’ve been my first question but what the hell.

Matt: Well our van broke down the other day as we were about to go to Cambridge. It ended up getting towed down to Brighton with all our gear in it. We had a gig in Cambridge that night, so we had to hire a car.

Doll: When we got the van back, we were so pleased that we decided to throw an amp out of the back of it.

Matt: Yeah, Chris left the van door open the other day, driving out of Brighton at 30 miles an hour, and an amp went flying out of the back of it. It was in a flight case and two trusty tramps wheeled it to the side of the road.

Olivier: They assured us that the case was a very good case.

Chris: We thought they were just shouting at us and waving their bottles.

Doll: Yeah, Chris was like “fuck off, tramps”.

AB: Does it still work?

Matt: It does.

AB: So you’re playing the Ruby Lounge tonight, how does that compare to playing big arenas on the Morrissey tours?

Matt: It’s great. All those people they’re there to see us. It’s a different kind of buzz. It’s still as exciting as doing the Morrissey thing.

AB: Would you not prefer to be playing arenas then?

Matt: Not at all, no.

AB: Fair enough. I’m gonna get on to the some questions people have wanted me to ask you. If that’s alright.

Matt: Go for it

AB: Someone has asked how you feel about the use of swearing in music and if you think it serves a genuine purpose.

Doll: I don’t have a problem with it. I think it’s fine. I think if someone feels the need. Some really good songs have swear words in them. Take Lily Allen, loads of her stuff has swear words in it and she just has radio edits where it’s got a blank space or she says something else.

AB: Fair enough. Someone pointed out that, in your last interview with Moon & Back, you said you’d been inspired by a lot of 70’s punk. They’ve asked if there’s any specific artists who you think have directly influenced your sound.

Doll: New acts or older acts?

AB: I think they meant in general really.

Doll: People like Kate Bush, people have said that they can her Siouxie Sioux in my vocals, Annie Lennox, Cindy Lauper. All those women who I think are amazing.

AB: Like I pointed out last time, it can’t be a bad thing to be compared to them.

Doll: Yeah, always. I’ll never complain about being compared to any of them because they were all amazing. I’ll start complaining when I start getting compared to Shakira

Olivier: Or Lionel Ritchie

Chris: Barry White

All: *laughs*

AB: What do you think about the ‘pay what you want’ model that people like Radiohead have started using when they release a new album?

Matt: I think it’s a load of rubbish.

Doll: I can see why people have tried to do it, but I think it’s not going to help the situation so it does render itself a little bit pointless.

AB: Given the choice of paying ten quid or nothing, I think a lot of people are going for the ‘nothing’ option.

Doll: Yeah, most people would.

Olivier: To be honest, I used to do a similar thing washing cars about 10 years ago with my mate. We went around saying “we’ll wash your car and you can pay us what you want for it”. We actually got paid quite well, because we were in a rich area. The thing is with music, most people will take it for free.

Chris: I think if we did that, we’d have people coming up drunk going “go on, I’ll give you 2 quid for it”.

Matt: We’ve got to pay for fuel and accomodation. We can’t afford to give it away for free.

AB: Someone wanted to know why Matt wasn’t in the last interview.

Chris: You were doing something with the gear weren’t you?

Matt: I could’ve been meeting up with somebody. I don’t know, but there was a valid reason.

Chris: He was practicing his shapes.

Olivier: He almost got fired from the band for not turning up *laughs*

Chris: He just thinks he’s too good for it, man.

Matt: Yeah. Actually I think I was online trying to sort out some stuff. Some gigs in America, because we were due to go to LA in about a month and we hadn’t got any gigs sorted out at the time. So I was online just trying to contact loads of people.

AB: I’ll forgive you then

Matt: We did get a few shows out there, so it worked out alright.

AB: Ok, I’m going to leave you in peace. Before I do, someone wanted to know if you had any words for the guy that threw the bottle at the Liverpool gig.

Doll: I don’t think we need to say anything. I’m sure he feels suitably stupid about it.

Olivier: Don’t do it to us. I don’t want a bottle in my face.

Chris: If you do, can you aim it at Matt please.

Matt: I think if I’d have seen him, I’d have taken off my guitar, gone down there and jumped on him.

Doll: I think he did actually get a good kicking though anyway.

Chris: I think so, yeah.

AB: There were certainly people vying for blood.

Doll: Yeah, I’m sure he got beaten up. I think he actually did, in the crowd. I think the bouncers had to take him out for his own safety.

Matt: I hope it doesn’t happen to us.

Doll: Yeah, don’t do it.

AB: Right then, thanks a lot for that.

Matt: No worries.

Chris: Thank you.

You can buy Doll & The Kicks’ debut album and any other merchandise here. Be sure to check out their MySpace Page too.

Gig Review :: Doll & The Kicks @ The Ruby Lounge, Manchester – 10/03/10

Expectations surpassed.

Stubeee Photography ©

Having seen Doll & The Kicks three times last year I had an idea of what to expect when they returned to Manchester. Once again, the guys exceeded my expectations and put on one hell of a show. To describe them as energetic would be the understatement of the year. I really don’t know how they do it.

As soon as they hit the stage the atmosphere in the room shifted. I could tell we were in for something fantastic. As great as they were on that ill-fated night in Liverpool, they really do shine in smaller venues. They got off to a fantastic start and immediately had us all mesmerized.

The setlist had a good mix of material from their first release and some newer stuff. We were even treated to a song so new, that didn’t even have a title. They proved once again that they are at their best when performing live. The sheer amount of energy, charisma and stage presence these guys posses is unbelievable. They kicked the night off with ‘Fire’ which was more than enough to warm us up (sorry) and even manged to tug some heart strings with songs like ‘If You Care’ – a personal favorite.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Doll is one of the finest front-people in music. She gave it her all and, as per usual, blew us all away with her vocal ability. Her range never fails to astound me. As much as people herald female vocalists like Florence Welch, I think Doll champions them all.

Of course, we can’t forget about the rest of the band (as if I would). Chris, Matt and Olivier were all on top form and super tight throughout. The way almost every song merged into the next kept the energy up and the crowd moving. Now I know nothing of the technicalities behind playing music, so I can’t fully articulate how great Matt’s guitar playing was, how Olivier’s bass playing demanded movement and how Chris tied the whole thing together with the way he was drumming. What I can tell you is that, to my untrained ears this was good music. Each member of the band, complimented one another perfectly.

This was, without doubt, Doll & The Kicks at their very best. I’d go as far to say that this is the best I’ve seen them and I’m eagerly anticipating anything that these guys do. If you want to see talent, dedication and have a damn good time, don’t hesitate. Go and see Doll & The Kicks.

You can buy Doll & The Kicks’ debut album and any other merchandise here.

Doll & The Kicks Interview Coming Up

Hey guys, I just thought I’d let you know that myself and Ian will be interviewing, Brighton-based, indie-pop foursome, Doll & The Kicks this coming Wednesday. If anyone has any questions post them in the comments below.

The guys supported Morrissey on his last two tours and have gained quite the fan base. I urge everyone to try and see them live this year as that’s when they’re at their best. Be sure to check them out, they’re coming to a town near you very soon.

:: Tour Dates ::

8/2 – Boileroom, Guildford

10/2 – Ruby Lounge, Manchester

11/2 – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

12/2 – Korova, Liverpool

14/2 – Barfly, Cardiff

18/2 – Mad Hatters, Inverness

19/2 – Woodlands Centre, Stornoway

20/2 – The Arch Inn, Ullapool

21/2 – The Tunnels, Aberdeen

24/2 – The Doghouse, Dundee

25/2 – Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh

26/2 – Greenside Hotel, Fife

27/2 – The Classic Grand, Glasgow

2/3 – The Dutchess, York

3/3 – The Cellars, Portsmouth

4/3 – Camden Barfly, London

6/3 – Audio, Brighton

For more info and extra tour date’s check out the band’s MySpace page. You can buy their, self titled, debut album here.

– Anthony

Interview :: Doll & The Kicks

Doll & The Kicks are one of the most exciting bands to come out of the UK this year. I had a chat with Doll, Chris and Olivier from the band, a few hours before they took the stage at Liverpool’s Echo Arena in support of Morrissey.

7720_137341826228_517046228_2604442_4158085_nSupporting a legend like Morrissey seems like a big deal, but unsigned indie rockers Doll and The Kicks are taking it all in their stride. They’ve been touring the world in support of the former Smiths frontman and even found time to do a successful UK tour of their own. Like I said in my review, how these guys remain unsigned really is beyond me. I asked them some questions, they answered them. Why don’t you take a look?

Anthony Barlow: Hi guys, thanks for doing this. First of all, I have to admit, I had no clue who you guys were before Morrissey’s Manchester gig, but i’ve been a fan ever since and it seems like a lot of the music press are too. How does it feel getting such high praise and even being compared to bands like Blondie?

Doll: It’s really nice to be compared to people who’ve had as much success as Blondie. I am a big Blondie fan as well, so it’s nice to be compared to people of that stature.

AB: Do you like that sort of praise and hype or does it put more pressure on you?

Chris: I don’t think it’s really so much hype. You’re naturally going to get compared to bands, every band does, that’s just the one they’ve picked out for us.

AB: How would you guys describe your sound? I’ve tried to tell people about you guys, but when I try and pinpoint your sound, I can’t.

Doll: *laughs*

Olivier: Sort of, indie, dancey, sing along pop songs I guess really.

Chris: Definitely with a bit of a rock influence too

Doll: Yeah, there’s definitely a bit of a 70’s punk kind of edge too.

AB: You are an unsigned band. Correct?

Doll: Yep

AB: Is that likely to change any time in the near future?

Doll: Not in the near future, not as far as we know *laughs*\

AB: That surprises me actually, you’d think being on a big tour like this one someone would be watching and would’ve snapped you up.

Doll: It’s definitely increased our fanbase loads, but I think it’s difficult with the current climate and how the music industry is at the moment as well. I think the most important thing at the moment is to try and build up our fanbase and get our music out there.

Chris: At the moment we haven’t really had any better offer than what we could do for ourselves at the moment. What we’re doing, it’s working so we might as well keep on doing it until somebody comes along with an offer we like.

AB: Fair enough, seems like a wise choice really. Not to talk of such unnecessary things as money, but how have the sales been of your album since you started on this tour?

Doll: Really good. We’ve sold, pretty much, 4,000 physical copies of the album since we started the tour in April and we’ve sold a lot online and on iTunes as well. Obviously, that doesn’t count all of the illegal downloads *laughs*

AB: Do you think illegal downloading affects you then?

Doll: Being a band of our size now, yeah it would actually directly affect us. Saying that, we don’t mind illegal downloading. Not that you should do it.

All: *laughs*

Doll: Because we’re of that generation who are used to sharing music with others and I think the music industry has just got to find another way of making that money they might be losing in sales.

AB: I interviewed Frank Turner a few weeks back and he said that, basically, the whole economy of the music industry needs to change before all recorded music goes free, because it’s not free to record an album and instruments e.t.c. aren’t free, so for now they [the music industry] need to find a way to stop illegal downloading.

Doll: Well, they’re never going to stop it, so they need to accept it and then find other revenues. Like, quite recently, there was talk of a five pound tax for everyone on the internet. If some of that could go to the entertainment industry, then that would help to combat that loss of revenue.

AB: Where do you think the music industry will be in five to ten years. Do you think recorded music will be given away free?

Doll: Eventually I think there will be some form of, legal, free downloads.

Chris: People are always coming out with new ideas everyday. We just need to wait for the next one to come along really and then to implement that on a bigger scale. That’s why I think the tax idea or a liscense is good.

Doll: Or things like Spotify.

Chris: Yeah, getting people to pay for live streaming and stuff, rather than the traditional way of handing over money and buying something. I think that’s what will happen in the future.

AB: Yeah definitely. Like you said, you are unsigned, so how did you catch the attention of Morrissey or Morrissey’s people and get on this tour?

Doll: Our manager, Jennifer, used to work for Sanctuary Records, which was Morrissey’s old label, so they were friends. She mentioned to him that she had begun managing a band and, one day, he decided to come and watch us. He really, really liked us and, so much so, he came a few more times. Then he asked us join the tour.

AB: So he asked you personally then?

Doll: Oh yeah, we wouldn’t be doing it if he hadn’t asked himself.

Chris: He’s known for hand picking bands that he likes, but not who everyone else necessarily likes.

All: *laughs*

Chris: and, well, he picked us.

AB: How do you think the response has been from the Morrissey crowd?

Olivier: It’s been great so far.

Chris: Much better than expected, actually.

Doll: Yeah, we were expecting it to be really, really tough judging from what we were told about other acts, but they’ve been so supportive. Even, so far as, helping us out personally with things we need. They’ve, generally, been really good to us.

AB: Looking at the different Morrissey-based websites out there, I think a lot of the fans were expecting a more established act to be supporting and I think you guys came as a surprise. A nice one though.

Doll: As Chris said, Morrissey does handpick his support acts and, quite often, they are quite obscure, lesser known, acts that people really haven’t heard of. So, it’s certainly not an unusual thing for him to do. Maybe because he is such a big act, people might have expected someone more established.

AB: Now these tours are massive, so how many countries have you played to date?

Doll: I think I counted and it was nineteen countries on the last one [tour]. We’re going to Holland this time around, we didn’t go to Holland last time did we?

Chris: Yeah, we’re revisiting a load of countries. We’re doing Belgium and Germany for a second time and then off to the States.

Doll: So it’ll be 20 by the end of this tour.

AB: I do believe you’re off to Europe tomorrow?

Doll: Yeah, we’re going to Folkstone to get the train over to where? I can’t pronounce it.

Olivier: Well, to Calais then on to some place in Holland with a weird name *laughs*

AB: 19 different countries, how’s that been, being on the road for that long?

Doll: Brilliant. We’ve gotten the chance to see so many countries we never though we’d ever be able to see.

Olivier: Russia, for instance. I never thought we’d be going there. We’ll probably never go back either.

All: *laughs*

Olivier: Not out of choice, the opportunity doesn’t arise that often y’know.

Doll: Yeah, I think we’ve all wanted to visit Russia and we were really surprised that part of the leg was going to be over there so we were really grateful.

AB: Exactly. I mean, you’re now ‘out there’. People know who Doll and The Kicks are. Did you expect that in such a short time? Did you expect to be on a tour of this size too?

Chris: We hoped.

Doll: We knew our manager was a friend of Morrissey’s and the idea of supporting him was banded around, in jest ‘oh wouldn’t it be good to support Morrissey’. Never for a minute did we think that it would ever happen, but it did happen.

AB: There’s a ton of bands that would die to go on tour with someone like Morrissey. Although, in hindsight, dying probably wouldn’t help.

Chris: We know how lucky we are. To think where we’ve been as well. I mean, between the previous Morrissey tour and this one, we actually went away for about 5 weeks and did our own tour around the UK and playing to 20 people makes us realise how much this is worth.

AB: Sort of, a shock to the system?

Doll: Yeah, it makes you realise how important it is to have that kind of backing from someone like him [Morrissey] and to get this kind of opportunity.

AB: Are we going to see another Smiths or Morrissey cover like Hand In Glove by you guys tonight [07.11.09] then?

Doll: No. No, that was a special birthday present for him [Morrissey] and we won’t be doing it again I don’t think.

AB: Is that your Candle In The Wind then?

All: *laughs*

Olivier: Yeah, I guess it is.

AB: So you’ve no plans to record a version of Hand In Glove then?

Doll: If demand was really that big for it then, yeah, I think we’d do it at some point, but it was meant just as a birthday present.

AB: How was the Manchester gig by the way?

Doll: It was amazing. It was one of my favourite gigs of the whole tour. Manchester Apollo, obviously, a major venue, it was his [Morrissey’s] 50th birthday and everyone got special 50th birthday things with

their tickets.

Chris: The atmosphere in there. Being in Manchester, being his [Morrissey’s] birthday.

Doll: They go mad anyway, but in Manchester it was something else.

AB: Yeah, it was a really good gig. I got caught up in the wall of people and, sort of, collapsed and was dragged out.

Doll: Yeah, you could see people fainting and stuff

[Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, my mate Dan sat in on this interview too, here he is now]

Dan: So, since you’ve been on this tour have you been approached any other large acts wanting you to support them?

Doll: No. I don’t think any larger bands have seen us really.

Chris: The thing is, unless bands know of you beforehand, it’s often a booking agent that will sort all of that stuff out.

Doll: Like we said, it’s really unusual for a main act to be able to pick their support act. It’s only because it’s Morrissey, that he can do that.

Chris: The thing that usually happens is, labels will usually get one of their smaller bands on the bill with a bigger act.

Doll: Yeah, more often than not, a record label will get one of their smaller acts and put them on with someone more well known to try and promote them. It’s really down to the record label.

AB: Yeah, that makes sense. Finally, i’ve had a lot of people requesting I ask you this, where did the big bow come from?

Doll: *laughs* The internet. It’s from a shop called Johnny Loves Rosie. They sell it in London TopShop, but they’ve got a website you can buy them from too. They should be sending me free stuff now *laughs*

AB: Definitely. Well, I think that about wraps us up. Thanks a lot guys for sitting and chatting with me. Good luck for tonight.

Doll: No problem, thanks.


Doll & The Kicks On MySpace

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Gig Review :: Doll & The Kicks – Liverpool Echo Arena – 07/11/2009 (Supporting Morrissey)

Morrissey might have only stuck around for a bit, but these guys were stuck in my head all night. Bloody fantastic, it was!

datkI might have branded last night as a “waste” (I feel ashamed right about now) in my previous review but, prior to the departure of the aforementioned, Brighton-based Doll & The Kicks warmed us all up. Just a shame it turned out to be a bit of a tepid evening.

The unsigned, indie foursome have been supporting Morrissey since the UK leg of the Tour Of Refusal began back in April, and came as a nice surprise when Moz hit Manchester. Since then I’ve been following their progress and was more than happy to see them for a third time in Liverpool last night.

Fronted by the extremely charismatic Doll, the band (seperately known as Doll, Chris, Matt and Olivier) have gone from strength to strength, and are one of the most energetic acts I have come to witness over the past few years. How these guys haven’t been snapped up by some label yet is beyond me.

The one thing everyone will notice about DATK is their energy. It’s great to see a band that just go out there and give it all they’ve got. They’ve certainly got an amazing amount of talent, charisma and stage presence. You can’t ask for anything more really. Their “dancey” beats complimented perfectly by Matt’s guitar playing was more than enough to get people on their feet. I reckon there was a fair few albums bought that night too. The crowd seemed really into the music. You can definitely hear the influences, but DATK certainly have a sound of their own.

No matter who you are, you need stage presence to be good live,and these guys have it in bucket loads. Doll has a fantastic voice and just seems to command attention. I don’t think there was anyone in the building who could look away. She danced around the stage in a very avant-garde manner and, as my mate Dan pointed out, often in quite a Morrissey-esque way. Minus the foliage of course.

Us Morrissey fans might be known for our love of meloncoly and complete apathy, but these guys got the Moz-faithful going and really got the night off to a great start. Those who’ve seen them before will have recognized songs like: Roll Up The Red Carpet, You Turn Up and He Was A Dancer. There was one new song included, but as Doll said herself, they were all new to the majority of people watching.

I’ve already said these guys are great and certainly think they’re going to be big in the future. They certainly deserve to be. A great start to what should’ve been a great night. Go and see them if you can, you won’t be disappointed.

Doll & The Kicks On MySpace

Buy The Album ‘Doll And The Kicks’ iTunes BigCartel