Interesting sound, interesting people

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A FORMER member of Norman Cook’s band Freak Power makes a debut appearance in Lancaster with his new electro swing outfit next weekend.

The Gregson Centre plays host to Brighton-based Kitten and The Hip, with The Hip being Freak Power’s trombonist Ashley Slater, who also played the instrument with anarchic British jazz band Loose Tubes.

Freak Power were most famous for the track Turn On, Tune In and Cop Out, which featured on the Levi jeans TV advert in 1995.

Fatboy Slim connections aside, Ashley met sultry singer-songwriter Kitten (Scarlett) Quinn last year, and the pair began writing songs together, culminating in a raft of UK shows and an album out at the end of this year.

The sound is a mixture between electro swing, some R&B, disco, drum and bass, dubstep and hooky pop songs.

I checked out the track Don’t You Worry, which is signed to record label Hed Kandi, on YouTube this week, and was hooked, not least by Kitten’s... vocal talents.

Kitten and the Hip, together with a drummer and guitarist, perform at the Gregson Centre on Saturday, June 30, before making their way over to the Beatherder Festival in the Ribble Valley for a Sunday main-stage performance alongside The Beat, The Lancashire Hotpots, Jake Bugg and Lee Scratch Perry.

Support for the Gregson Centre gig, organised by city music promoters Lancaster Speakeasy, comes from Lancaster eight-piece funk and soul band The Groove Cutters, featuring Becca Kenyon and Dee Sharky on vocals, Martin Green on guitar, Scott Montgomery on bass, David Williams on drums, Gulliver Broadbeck on saxophone, Pete Bucklow on trombone, and Melvin Dod on trumpet.

The night before, Friday, June 29, Lancaster Speakeasy brings another unusual and talented act to the city in the form of Professor Elemental.

A month ago at the Dalton Rooms, Professor Elemental’s peer and arch enemy Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer demonstrated his own brand of “chap hop” – introducing the Queen’s English to hip-hop – and were very well received by Lancastrians.

Challenger to the chap-hop throne Professor Elemental has more of the same, but adding a heavy dash of the “steampunk” genre to the mix.

Check out Wikipedia for more information on this genre, but it sounds like fun.

His track Cup of Brown Joy has notched up more than 1.2m hits on YouTube.

Professor Elemental is supported by Lancaster electro-swing band Sound Assembly.

If you’re not heading to Beatherder next weekend, but want a flavour of it here in Lancaster, these two gigs will do the job nicely.

Entry is £10 for each, or £15 for both if you buy them on the Friday night.