THE KGB Invention. In the Woods AUG 2004 019
Photo: Martin TompkinsTHE KGB Invention. In the Woods AUG 2004 004
Photo: Martin Tompkins

‘Beautiful, edgy and thoughtfully arranged songs told with originality, conviction and class’. Reg Meuross.

In the past three years the Kate Garrett Band have built a reputation in Oxford and beyond for their intense and powerful live work, earning them gigs at festivals, art centres and galleries, and supports to Country Joe and the Fish and Breaks Co-Op. They released their ‘Homefront EP’ in 2005 on Oxford’s Beard Museum label, working with producer and musician Andy Lovegrove, (Badly Drawn Boy, Radiohead, Supergrass, Breaks Co-op). A track from Kate’s first album ‘Vertigo’ was also released on compilation Beard Museum No.1. in the same year. They are currently recording their next album with Rob Harbron (English Acoustic Collective, Chris Wood) and will be doing a double release with Duotone, Barney’s solo project on Garrett Brown records in early 2009. Singer, guitarist and songwriter Kate Garrett grew up in West Dorset, starting out in a ceilidh band aged 15 playing flutes and whistles, and supporting blues bands in duo The Polkats with school friend Polly Harvey. She formed Tripping Upstairs with singer Abbie Lathe (Maddy Prior), Mitch Norman and Fin Gunn in 1989 and the band toured Britain for two years, recording their first album with Phil Beer and supporting various bands on the folk scene such as Show of Hands, Vin Garbutt and Liam O’Flynn.  She also joined local folk band Dr. Burkes and started the acapella Trio Hysteria with Abbie and Sammy Hurden, touring Britain and Ireland.

After relocating to Oxford and working with producer Sam Williams (Supergrass), she joined indie rock group The Mystics. The band released records on the Fontana, Rotator and Shifty Disco labels, touring the UK and the states and receiving airplay on MTV. The ensuing time of rock’n’roll madness also saw Kate begin work on her solo debut album in LA with producer Jonathan Nesmith (son of Monkee Mike Nesmith). The rest of the album was recorded and co-produced with Will Gibson at Pandemonium in South Oxfordshire and released in 2000. ‘Vertigo’ brought together Kate’s acoustic roots with complex songs and the influence of indie rock.

As well as session work, film commissions and theatre work, Kate has worked for ten years encouraging young people to make music, working for the Chard Foundation, Dorset, Somerset and Oxford Councils and in particular the Ark T Centre in Oxford, where she has co-run the music project for 8 years. She set up the Oxford Young Women’s Band Project, running regular workshops, gigs and recording sessions. The project has released 3 CD’s and had a short film made about it . In 2007 the film was screened at a Channel 5/Arts Council event at Ruskin College, Oxford, where Kate was commissioned to deliver a lecture on young women and music alongside author and blues musician Maeve Bayton (Frock Rock). She has been a board member of Oxford Inspires, Oxford’s cultural development agency, since 2006. In 2007 Kate began running singing workshops for adults in Dorset and Oxford with Abbie Lathe. In 2007 Barney and Kate began work with Simon Emmerson (Imagined Village, Afro Celts), joining up with Dorset based musicians Andy Poore and Lucy Roberts to form the Village Band. Having all played on several tracks on the Radio 2 Folk Award winning Imagined Village album, Barney then joined the Imagined Village band as cellist. He has since been touring with the Eliza Carthy Band and Chris Wood as well as gigging with his solo project Duotone. Kate and Barney continue to write with Simon for other upcoming projects.

© Kate Garrett 2018
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