Poeticat smash the walls – Music Interview


After featuring Centre of the Concrete Square a few weeks ago, somethingyousaid.com interviews Poeticat’s Catherine Martindale to learn more:

Your band members hail from London and Lisbon, how did you meet? How did you come together as Poeticat?
Ziggi (from Portugal) & I (Catherine, from London) were at drama school together & started experimenting with vocals & storytelling. Simultaneously I had started performing my poetry with Baj on acoustic guitar to spice things up at festival performances. Ziggi’s brother Victor joined us on the cajon and we played as a four piece for a while. We are more recently joined by Ivo on bass who happens to be from Lisbon.

Do you think your different geographical backgrounds have influenced your sound?
I think the different geographical backgrounds are part of what make Poeticat so unusual. Ziggi & Victor are English/Canadian but were brought up in Portugal, Baj & I are from London which can leave you very displaced & Ivo has lived all over the world. We are all outsiders in a way which has led us all to not give a shit about fitting in & figure out what we enjoy doing. It so happens that the five different things we enjoy doing work together to make something like music which people seem to like.

Catherine, was making music as Poeticat a natural progression from your time within the spoken word and poetry scene?
Yes. A lot of spoken word poets were doing it, Kate Tempest with Sound of Rum, Disraeli and The Small Gods, Benin City, Scroobius Pip and many others. It felt as though there was a glass ceiling in the poetry scene which I wanted to break. It also got pretty lonely performing on my own all the time & dealing with the internalised critique, at least now we can all say to each other: ‘what’s going on in your head is probably more horrible than how you actually performed’ & that helps.

l_fc55881effcb4d16b944c60c79b2e937Poeticat have been described as ‘genre-defying’ and ‘completely original’, how would you yourselves describe your band’s sound?
Experimental Progressive Rock.

Your upcoming gigs will feature interactive art installations by Elisavet Kalpaxi. Why did you decide to collaborate?
Because she is as mad as us. Elisavet is one of the most important artists on the underground art, music & poetry scene in London at the moment. She takes no prisoners. She creates exceptionally daring & intricate installations which combine with Poeticat’s material to give the audience further opportunity to delve into their own subconscious.

Your fans are quite die-hard in how they dress up and paint their faces at your gigs. Have you had any interesting fan interactions?
Yes we found one hiding in the back of our car once, dressed in a shiny jumpsuit like Ziggi’s. We drove all the way to Essex with them in there & then since they’d come all that way we let them dance on stage.

What do you have in store for 2014?
More releases, more videos, more touring! We have an EP called Smash the Walls out in April & our last residency on Feb 28th where we’re producing a mini cinema in the shed to show the music video for our single 3rd Arm with popcorn & blankets & stuff. More fun & more meeting cool people like you!

Catch Poeticat live on Friday 28th of February at Brixton Windmill. Or simply keep up to date with Poeticat via their website or Facebook.



Interview by Carol Bowditch