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Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Introducing... Kill It Kid

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

From the nourishing springs of Bath come the John Parish-approved ragtime-inspired purveyors of bruised blues.

Kill It Kid
Kill It Kid [L-R]: Steph, Adam, Chris, Richard and Marc

Most bands first recordings are funnelled into a scratched old dictaphone or sketched down on a friend's borrowed four-track.

Imagine, if you will then, penning tracks in front of two dozen classmates making notes whilst a cult producer twiddles the dials as part of an observational educational experiment.

Last year, John Parish [producer of PJ Harvey, Eels] was invited by a tutor at Bath Spa University to exhibit his recording skills by taking a group into the studio and letting students watch - Big Brother style.

Kill It Kid were that guinea pig band.

Parish sessions

"We sat and slogged for like 12 hour days singing over and over again trying to get these songs right whilst about 20 students sat in the other room listening to us," explains KIK's vocalist Chris Turpin.
"It was a bit strange - I don't know if there was tutoring going on or what."

However, behind the glass screen and under the pressure Richard Jones [violin], Adam Timmins [bass], Stephanie Ward [vocals/piano], Marc Jones [drums] and Turpin produced their debut EP.

Kill It Kid, the facts

WHAT: Blues reared soul food from Bath

FOR FANS OF: Antony & The Johnsons, Arcade Fire

DOWNLOAD: Send Me An Angel Down


LIVE: Dates throughout the UK now

Rewind a few years and Turpin's own musical journey began aged 15 with his first gig. "It was on an industrial estate in the middle of the Norfolk countryside," he recalls.

"A photographer who my girlfriend at the time knew offered me this show - so I ended up in the back of this industrial estate with a load of metal bands playing ragtime music."

Yes, you read that correctly: ragtime music. His preferences pre-date jazz and the world's oldest man by heading back to America's Deep South in the late 1800s.

"There's a player that I love, and still love, called Blind Willie McTell - he was one of the first guitarists who pricked my ears up," he mulls.

"He was playing in a New York bar and one of the staff at the bar used to shout 'Kill It Kid' at him when he was going up to play. I thought that was a good way to start a band."

But he has opened his ears to music from the last 100 years as well. "I've been going through a Bruce Springsteen phase," he says. "I thought he was laughable - my dad used to tell me that I was completely wrong - I've eaten my words now."

You can hear those variable influences in the band's cacophonous mix of spiralling country, folk and rock.

In the present

The first part of Kill It Kid's 2009 calendar was spent in snowy Seattle recording their, now completed, debut album with Ryan Hadlock [Foo Fighters, The Gossip] due out this autumn.

I'm not much of one for these new bands talking about going out and getting trashed - that's not really our thing
Chris Turpin, vocalist, Kill It Kid

"It's this kind of bluesy theme of screwed up relationships," explains Turpin of the record's themes. "There are a lot of strange relationship songs which end up in killing brides and stuff.

"I'm not much of one for these new bands talking about going out and getting trashed - that's not really our thing."

Perhaps even more remarkable than their journey so far is Chris's own voice. A cavern-deep bellow pitched somewhere between Anthony Hegarty and Tracy Chapman.

"People are always saying 'Ahh what you doing? How are you getting that? Does it hurt?'" he exclaims. "Some people love it and some people don't like it. I'm not trying to do anything; I'm not flipping my voice around to sing in this weird way."

Uncontrived, Kill It Kid are brave, raw talent.

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