The Session: The Outcast Band are recastBy Jenny Minard
October 29, 2010
It’s been quite a year for The Outcast Band – festivals, energetic live shows and now the release of their long-awaited new album.
The folk-rockers are heading back to the homelands when they play a highly anticipated gig in Reading at the end of next month.
Vocalist Damien Kay says that the band’s sound changed when they recently reformed after a break.
“We were really fired up by the new sound we were creating. New band members had brought in new ideas and it came together with such energy that we felt we had to get it down,” he explains.
“The previous recordings didn’t seem to represent us anymore. There was something fresher, a new dynamic that we wanted to capture.”
The Outcast Band were one of the biggest bands on the Reading scene in the early 90s.They sold out such legendary venues at the RBH Club and The Granby.
The band’s new album is being produced by Phil Tennant who has worked with The Levellers and The Saw Doctors – he also discovered pop sensation Pixie Lott.
“We’ve known Phil from way back when we played with other bands who had worked with him,” Damien says.
“His reputation went before him in the musical circles we moved in. We approached him with some rough demos, which he loved, so he was the obvious choice to get involved with the record.
“We all have a great working relationship – Phil comes up with some really good ideas and [engineer] Adam makes them happen.
“We are really pleased with the results we’ve heard so far. The sessions seem to have captured the energy we feel is such a part of our live performances in a much more pronounced way than our previous recordings.”
Damien promises that the album will include some “cornerstones” of the band’s live shows as well as some brand new tracks that have been penned in the wake of the band’s reformation.
“I think there are a few musical surprises,” he adds. “We have some very special guest appearances which have added another dimension to a lot of the tracks.”
Damien cites his influences as Tom Waits and Nick Cave.
“Bands who experiment with instrumentation beyond the guitar/ bass/drums format have always interested me,” he says.
“That probably explains why I love the violin and mandolin – they add a texture to songs that provokes emotion.
“I really admire bands who aren’t afraid to take songs to extreme levels of intensity. Gallon Drunk and The Retreat were purveyors of that art.”
The band played a host of festivals over the summer, including Wychwood.
“We had a tough slot up against the Saturday headline act but we had an amazing audience and it was an incredible night,” Damien says.
And it won’t be long before you can catch them yourselves.
- The album The Longest Mile is released on Monday.
- The band will be at Play in Milford Road, Reading on Friday, November 26. Support comes from Pressgang, Quiet Quiet Band and Ed Lofstedt.
Doors open at 8pm and tickets cost £6 on the door or £5 in advance. For more information go to www.outcastband.com.