Mediaeval Baebes

By Bob Gourley | Originally published in 1999
Mediaeval Baebes

An interview with Katherine Blake

How did your shows on this year’s Lilith Fair tour go?

Katherine : “They were fabulous. The reaction was awesome. It was really in our favor that we’re so different from all the other acts. We were selling more CDs than anyone’s ever sold on Lilith Fair. It was just amazing. The audience reacted so well, dancing around, rocking out!”

Is it difficult touring with such a large band?

Katherine : “Obviously it’s a bit of a squash on the bus, and there’s a definite divide between the people who want to party and don’t want to party. So that creates a problem of noise on the bus, you need to have a happy medium. And there’s stuff everywhere because we all brought loads of clothes and stuff. Which is chaos basically, but you know, ok.”

With Lilith, there were pretty large audience, with many people hearing your for the first time. Did this have any effect on your choice of material to play?

Katherine : “Mostly, it was tailoring it to the festival audience and using the upbeat ones with drums and rhythms to get the crowd going. That seems to work. That’s what people seem to want, they want the dance hits”

How did the band come together?

Katherine : “Well it started about 2 years ago, I got my mates together and just did it for a laugh, basically. Just an excuse to hang out with each other, and it seemed like a nice thing to do. And then it escalated. Dorothy, our instrumentalist, I met her in Berlin, she plays medieval instruments and is really charming. There’s 15 people in the band, so it’s quite a momentous occasion when you can get everyone together for rehearsal! It was just anyone that wanted to come along and sing. Period. It was just a free for all. We regret it now, of course, because if there we fewer members we’d make more money. We’re going to play Russian Roulette, it’s the only way.”

What’s the status on Miranda Sex Garden?

Katherine : “We’re doing another Miranda album when I get back from this tour, which we’re going to be selling over the Internet. It’s not the same line-up as ‘Fairy Tales of Slavery’. Teresa, who sings with the Baebes, is in it, and Trevor and Ben are still doing it. The material is coming along quite well, and I’ve got an opportunity to record it and release it, so I’m quite excited.”

Will it just be sold online?

Katherine : “We’re looking hopefully to license it off in America, but primarily it’s going to be sold on the Internet. You can make more money that way.”

For those who haven’t seen MEDIÆVAL BÆBES live, how would you compare your live sound to the CD’s?

Katherine : “It’s a bit more full-on, because we’ve got the two drummers now. With the first album it was members of the band, the girls would do the drumming. It was quite basic. Now it’s really evolved and is quite complex, a lot of syncopation. And we dance around, and stuff like that.”

Do you think your unique style makes it difficult or easy to market the band?

Katherine : “I think it’s so easy to market because there’s no competition in the marketplace, there’s nothing else like it. I think when you first hear the idea, it’s a bit amusing, but when you actually see us live doing it then it makes perfect sense and has a very wide appeal.”

You’ve done well in the classical charts, but it seems you would also appeal to the gothic audience. Is that a market you’re targeting?

Katherine : ‘That’s the audience we’d really like to reach, because obviously Miranda Sex Garden hasn’t played in America for about four years now and I’m sure that people would like to see what I’m up to now.”

Have you been working on a new MEDIÆVAL BÆBES album?

Katherine : “Yes, it’s virtually written. I think we know now all the tracks that will be on it. We just need more harmonies and stuff to beef up the sound.

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