Brighton Septet KEG channel a frenetic, combustive brand of art-punk: with tracks that conjure a Dr.Seuss-esque world of wonky delights.
The accompanying video for new track ‘Farmhands’ offers us a glimpse into said world. KEG themselves are reimagined as characters in the animated Smelve Village; which aesthetically sits between the homely, juvenile drawing style of Pierre Culliford and the more jarring spirit of Mike Judge.
The video for ‘Farmhands’ – like the song itself – shines a light on the extreme disparity between the chic eateries of Brighton’s St.James Street, and the vast homeless contingent that call the location home.
“In the summer in Brighton, the city council were giving homeless people train fare money to leave the city,” KEG say on the track’s inspiration. ‘I remember thinking this is an obscene solution to a really serious undeniable housing issue. The stark contrast of real poverty and gentrified coffee/juiceries is quite startling along most of the south coast, I’m sure everyone has an equivalent.’
KEG shared their debut EP, Assembly, with the world at the end of October. The collection of 5 tracks grants us a brief, candid glimpse into the potential of the project – from their rousing breakthrough single ‘Heyshaw‘, to the wistful Beach Boys-flecked harmonies of ‘Kilham‘.
Assembly is a huge statement debut, with so many lyrical left-turns and sonic avenues throughout the tracklist: can you summarise in a sentence or two what these five tracks mean to you?
Most of the EP was written in a flurry of excitement, some tracks coming out in single sessions. I think it’s an invitation into what we like to make, not particularly focused but an early display of things to come.
The EP is a strong nod to experimental 80s new wave artists such as Bill Nelson, do you tend to find your inspiration through nostalgia? Or are a mixture of eras represented on the KEG stereo?
Never listened to Bill Nelson, thanks for the suggestion this is great. There’s definitely an undercurrent of the 80s new wave in what we make, we have all loved that stuff from being small bairns so it runs deep. I feel like you can’t separate music into eras anymore, everything is so available it would be silly not to digest it all at once like a big nonlinear pie.
KEG have enjoyed a strong run of support shows (Squid, Talk Show, The Lounge Society etc), if you could jump on the bill with any act from history, who would you choose?
Probably Minutemen, funny good guys.
Each of your tracks has this lovable sense of chaos about it: what do band practises look like when you are first hammering out a song?
There are different approaches, sometimes an idea will come from Frank’s infinite nugget bank (Ableton), and we will build around a riff and then basically try and reduce our parts until its bare essential oils. Or sometimes it will come more organically, we know where to go instinctively and the song is just there.
What is 2022 going to hold in store for KEG?
More music, bigger shows, celebrity parties in the Hollywood hills, bit parts in the new Paul Thomas Anderson film.
photo credit: Katie Allen
KEG’s debut EP is out now on Alcopop! Recordings.