Monday, 4 July 2011

Clapton People: Kat Vipers

For the first in what might become a series (cut out and keep!), I want to highlight a few of Clapton's good eggs.

The idea came to me when my iPod shuffled itself onto a song by a Clapton resident and performer, Kat Vipers.

I got to know Kat a couple of years ago when she gave me piano lessons. I was rubbish, never putting in the hours. But I loved our time together, with me stuttering my way through pieces by Kabalevsky and John Cale, and she doing her best to encourage someone who clearly hadn't done their Hanon exercises.

But teaching piano to the undisciplined is only a part of what Kat does.

It goes without saying that she's an accomplished pianist - click here to watch her play some spectacular Chopin (four minutes in). But she twists that classical training into a contemporary act that folds in aspects of funk, punk, jazz and - latterly, on her newest EP, A New Career In A New Town (nice David Bowie reference!) - stripped-down 80s electronica.

And then she starts to sing. Her voice is something else, her lyrics unique. I know how performers hate being compared to others - yes, yes, you're an individual... - but Kat reminds me, by turns, of PJ Harvey, Bjork and Bat For Lashes.

Kat can do hymnal, but she can also go batshit like Kate Bush, yipping and erupting into screeches, always with poise and precision. Brimming with musical ideas, she's edgy, experiment, possesses a titanic noise, and is always an engaging listen. And she does regular gigs. Here's a clip of her at last month's Big Mix festival at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green.

Tune in on her website, on Soundcloud, or just go crazy with the credit card on iTunes.

UPDATE: Kat just posted this on Twitter...
"I have a classical concert this coming Saturday 9th of July - free entry at St John Hackney, playing solo Mozart and Montague. 3pm start"

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