COSMIC ROUNDUP - KATE WOODWARD OF OBEY COBRA & INANNA MEETS THE DAWN
Obey Cobra has had a busy year, supporting legendary acts such as Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs and Acid Mother Temple. Also, bagging slots at wicked festivals such as Cardiff Psych and Noise Fest and Sŵn. Things aren't slowing down for Obey Cobra any time soon, so I thought it would be good to check in with their vocalist, Kate to find out what is happening on planet Cobra. Kate also plays in Inanna Meets the Dawn, performs as a solo artist and has a million other creative projects going on, a true legend of Cardiff's local scene.
Hi Kate, how are you?
Hi Rich, I’m damn good thanks.
Give us the history of Obey Cobra. From when you first met to now…
I was playing my first ever gig at Red Sun festival in 2016 where I was accompanying Boris a Bono. Steveo Jones and John Day who were in the original Oblong also played that festival and watched our performance. They came over to Rory and I after we played, safe to say swooning (ha) and we chatted about collaborating the heaviness of Oblong with the electronic ambience of Boris a Bono. I’d like to add John (aka Oz) at this time had a flashy convertible, he would spontaneously appear in it around Cardiff and shout to us to join the band, this definitely helped their case..
Oblong’s line up changed with us joining in the autumn of 2016. We had our first gig put on by LESSON NO.1 & F.Y.B. in December and then really only played house shows and the odd gig for the first year, it was a lot more improvisational back then. There’s another band (post punk, less wonky) called Oblong also in South Wales, and both bands kept getting mistaken for each other and so Obey Cobra was born. This then followed with the acquiring of Rosie Swan and about a year ago Ian Coote on drums.
Is there an album on the horizon?
Yes! It has been about a year in the making, we went to Foel Studio in Mid Wales in December last year and smashed out 10 songs over 2 and a half days. We’ve then continued to record over this past year and mix the album ourselves, it’s coming out at the end of January 2020 followed by a series of videos and a tape release exploring more electronic, gothic pop. We are collaborating visually with the photographer Matt Kirby, check out his portraits (!!) For the album cover and a video. It’s artistically a great fit, and follows on from our first video that I made for us ‘Mwg Drwg’ exploring character based imagery.. So all big things to come in the next few months!
Tell us a bit about Inanna Meets the Dawn. What’s the concept behind the band?
Inanna Meets the Dawn is a Cardiff Collective creating conceptual work blurring music and art. Our EP ‘The Goddess & the Alphabet’ draws inspiration from lost female histories and mythology as well as the current sociopolitical climate and personal loss. It combines the ancient with the futuristic to create a unique and vibrant brand of electronica. At the beginning of November, Reb May (my partner in crime/the dream) and I also organised and curated a week long womxn’s artist residency and event ‘Remembering Inanna’ as part of our EP Launch at Shift Cardiff where 30 womxn contributed and collaborated in visual art, performance and spoken word. It was an incredible event and a driving force for us to continue doing work like this.
Tell us a bit more about the South Wales scene, who are your favourite local acts?
South Wales has a very strong DIY scene within music and art. I do find there is an egoic Cardiff Celebrity status that bands love to give themselves (and I’m sure it happens everywhere) but away from that there is a truly amazing array of bands and noise artists. One’s that push boundaries, make raw work that isn’t just about ‘entertainment’ and contributes in creating such a powerful local music scene.
I feel there is definitely a way still to go for diversity, especially considering how diverse Cardiff is as a Capital city - there needs to be more inclusion and space made to explore more cultures within the music scene and it’s venues.
Off the top of my head, favourite local acts are :
Ladies of Rage
Bodyhacker with their amazingly mad merch that Josh Brimble makes.
Boris a Bono
What was the best gig you played in 2019?
Playing with Acid Mother’s Temple at Rough Trade was a definite highlight of this year!
Best gig you attended?
I’ve got two…
I’ve seen Anna Von Hausswolff twice this year and both times she was incredible but her show at Supersonic Festival was otherworldly.
I would also like to big up KMC Houseshows, we hosted about 5 or 6 house shows a year for the past 3 years, Tom Kirby has been organising them for probably 6 or so years, and they were all wild. There’s no way to describe the mad joy of having heavy as fuck bands playing in your living room, people crowd surfing leaving foot prints on the ceiling and absolute (respectful) carnage haha.
Best festival you attended?
Arctangent was great, the rain was relentless but the curation and size of the festival meant that I saw most of the bands that played.
I went to Supersonic for the day and it was great to experience a festival lineup that was so heavily femxle.
(((o))): What albums have you enjoyed in 2019?
Lower Slaughter - Some Things Take Work
Christine and the Queens - Chris
Daughters - You Won’t get What You Want
L’Epee - Diabolique
I was just shown Opal Tapes so discovering their releases starting with Filmmaker.
Honestly though, I can spend most of my time listening to Leonard Cohen and Roxy Music and be happy.
What the hell are you up to next year?
The beginning of next year will see Obey Cobra releasing our debut album - the long awaited band baby. As well as organising a series of mini-tours, work on new releases exploring some new sounds and studio recording - as well as tape releases, videos and short films.
Inanna Meets the Dawn will explore a new concept album, apply for funding to put on more inclusive, community engagement projects and only in its daydream state; but look into funding for international collaborative projects.
I want to release as Kate Wood - my solo music and art-based personae. Earlier in the year I ran an ACW funded project called Altered Ego with my co-conspirator David Sinden, where 8 artists explored identity creation and taking these alter egos into the real world. I now have an impressive collection of wigs so I really want to build on the many faces of Kate Wood, each having different style sets. So equally as busy if not more, but who needs rest eh.
Find out more, HERE!
Photo of Obey Cobra supporting Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs at Clwb by Bethan Miller
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