Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

It perhaps sounds awful on paper: three North London siblings with an average age of sixteen dabbling in the sort of music that was before even their parents' time. (Well, obviously not, as dad, Graeme, helped out on the album too.) What might inspire three modern teenagers to make an LP of blues, rock 'n' roll and country? For Kitty, Daisy & Lewis isn't just an "influenced by" album; one could be forgiven for thinking it was found in a 50s time capsule.

With so much modern music relying on studio trickery, this debut makes for a refreshing throwback. The sleeve states it was recorded in analogue on "ancient sound equipment". So frequent bursts of harmonica, for example, come from nowhere and are high and rough in the mix, seemingly inhabiting their own space; yes, just like an old blues recording. The result is strangely more lively - or at least more live - than your typical album nowadays, sounding like it shouldn't even be on CD.

Mainly Kitty, Daisy and Lewis have stuck to cover versions of obscure songs. If the most recognisable track here is Going Up The Country, Canned Heat's take on which was a hit in the Woodstock era, one imagines it would still draw blank looks from their school chums. Elsewhere, there's the banjo-pluckin' Hillbilly Music, with its irresistable invitation to "clap your hands and stomp your feet", and the sleazy, twangy cool of Mohair Sam, sounding like something Tarantino might utilise. Their enthusiasm for the music is further proven by the fact that the two original compostions - Buggin' Blues and the instrumental Swinging Hawaii - blend in so well, although one could cynically argue that the latter just demonstrates the simplicity of the blues template.

Whether Kitty, Daisy & Lewis totally escapes the shadow of being the debut of three teenagers is up for debate, but, providing you don't consider such slavish devotion to the past futile in itself, it's an infectious curiosity.

Overall

7

out of 10

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