Mon 10 Sep 2012 Price: £7.00 Doors Open: 20:00Buy tickets ShareThis
A new force in song craft, Cate Le Bon currently resides in Cardiff's infamous French quarter and befitting a songwriter who only writes in the dark, her music is a heady and highly personal Gallic stew of equal parts Nico, Malkmus and the chronicler's own emotional observations on the impossibility of existence.
Disheartened by the constant stream of dead animals she found herself burying in her parents farm in Penboyr, West Wales, and inspired by her father's impeccable record collection (The Velvets, Neil Young, Pavement et al) Cate packed her things and begrudgingly set sail for the neon lights and ample rehearsal space available in her country's capital.
Following a string of club night shows in the city, Cate caught the attention of SFA front man Gruff Rhys who over a cigarette and a glass of brandy offered her some support slots with his band. Cate continued to gig extensively in the UK releasing singles and a Welsh language EP ('Edrych Yn Llygaid Ceffyl Benthyg') on the Indie Record label Peski. Knowing that there's never too much of a good thing, Rhys roped Cate into his hip hop exchange program Neon Neon. What began as a guest vocal appearance on their debut single I Lust You, resulted in a year of touring the world as part of their band.
During a month's break from the road, with her confidence and enthusiasm redoubled, Cate retired to Y Gerlan in the mountains of North Wales for a prophetic 10 day recording session which resulted in the release of her debut full length album 'Me Oh My' to rapturous critical acclaim. On the back the album's US release in April 2010, Cate completed a two month tour stretching from SXSW in Texas to Café Hotel in Los Angeles, sending postcards from Boston, Buffalo, San Francisco and New York along the way. Like a dutiful daughter Cate returned for the British festival season, seeing out the summer at Glastonbury, The Great Escape and Field Day to name a few, and snatching free time between performances to write new material in her North Walian bolthole.
During one of these rare moments of repose, Cate befriended a group of Deutsche aristocrats who were seeking refuge from Interpol in one of Wales's dimples. After bonding over Brutalist architecture and the Turkish markets of Kreuzberg, the gang saw out 2010 while experimenting with homemade synthesisers taped into shoe boxes under the name Means Heinz. Plans for recording their Kountrock musings are in the pipeline, at the liberty of her majesty's immigration service.
At the dawn of 2011, Cate re-entered the studio to start work on a new record of her own. Drawing on her experiences of the last year, Cate has created collection of pop nuggets that sound like they've fallen off the back of a broken carousel, imbued with the playfulness of Faust and Syd Barrett and the tropical melodies of Os Mutantes. Existential word play abounds and fuzz fused guitar lines tear through like an angry bee in a CAN on the new album, CYRK which is due for release at the dawn of 2012. As one project draws towards completion a new collaboration emerges with her non-identical twin brother, Meilyr Jones, the svelte singer from the chamber pop outfit Race Horses. The pair did a one off session for Bethan Elfyn under the moniker Yoke. They have recently played a stream of arresting live shows, including The Greenman Festival, and are currently putting the finishing touches on their debut album.
"Her odd, beautiful songs burrow like furtive woodland creatures to a safe nest lodged firmly between tradition and individual talent. Quirky psychedelia, rough guitars and spectral shanties are drawn together by her cool, Welsh Nico vocal... Cate Le Bon is very much her own thing." NME - 8/10
"A strikingly different prospect to the recent run of new female singers" The Independent
Startlingly original... 'Me Oh My' has that can't-put-your-finger-on-it oddness that makes for great pop music... A singular talent" MOJO - 4 stars ****