KITE BASE – Lucky 7

LUCKY 7 is the feature where we ask artists to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own.

Drawn together by a love of playing bass and listening to electronica, a refined sense of design aesthetic and a keen interest in the art of origami, Kite Base are also the band that should launch a thousand t-shirts #KITEBASETEE plus they are the best new band in Britain.

They were recently asked by Robert Smith of The Cure to play at the Meltdown festival he was curating, where they were on a bill among many kindred spirits and heroes who play with a similar yen for industrial beauty, including Nine Inch Nails and Placebo.

If you love the film “Lost In Translation”, the album “The Downward Spiral” and the paintings of Cy Twombly, you will be on the way to loving Kite Base half as much as I do.

Kendra Frost and Ayşe Hassan (also of the excellent Savages) have both previously featured on Velvet Sheep each choosing a “song for ewe” – and in fact Kendra’s choice of Pigface inadvertently led to her meeting her choice and hero Lesley Rankine (also of Silverfish, Ruby) which I was very chuffed about contributing some small way towards.

It turns out that we’ve also got other people in common via the TV day job too, so it was only natural to get the gang back together and get Kite Base back on these pages to choose an erudite and enlightening Lucky 7 selection of songs they love.

Kite Base: Kendra Frost and Ayşe Hassan photograph by Jonathan Pilkington

1. Tomorrow- Make It Alright.

K: I discovered jungle in my early teens by tuning in to pirate stations on the radio and then later hunted out raves like ‘Bang Face’ in the early 2000’s, where I could go and dance to it to my heart’s content for hours. I instantly fell in love with the genre and its simplicity. It’s amazing what you can do with restricted technology like the early samplers that only allowed for seconds of audio at a time. Jungle is like sonic haiku- simple, perfect elements that are all of equal importance to the whole and this track epitomises that for me. It’s just stunning.

2. Scott Walker – The Seventh Seal

A: Aside from The Seventh Seal being one of my favourite films; It took me years to like this track – it used to be my least favourite. However one long haul flight changed that, as the choir and Scott’s operatic baritone soothed my anxieties. This track now distracts me from my fears, ironic considering the lyrics; death is a character I write about most and one I’m rather fond of – the everything and nothing, the balance in a cycle, a feared process representing the absence of being/change; something I now find rather beautiful due to a shift in perspective.

3. Laurie Anderson- O Superman.

K: A very special track by an incredibly inspiring artist. I first heard it when Placebo chose to play it as part of their ‘XFM Takeover’ waaaay back when… I can remember Brian Molko announcing it and saying something along the lines of it being one of the most beautiful tracks in the world. I couldn’t agree more. However I never caught the track or artist name and, bearing in mind that the Internet was just becoming a thing at this point and I didn’t own a computer, I just couldn’t find it for love nor money! I hunted for over a decade, going into record stores and saying things like: ‘a heartbreakingly romantic robot is pouring its heart out to Superman!’ No wonder I couldn’t find it! I was literally overjoyed when I did and it actually became a main influence for me when writing the vocal line for our Kite Base cover of ‘Something I Can Never Have’ by NIN.

4. Placebo- Pure Morning.

K: On the subject of Placebo, it was such a treat to see them play at Meltdown Festival this year. They are always awesome, what a show! Placebo were such a massive influence on my early writing, I began playing about with unusual string tunings because of them. They opened the set with this and I fell in love with it all over again.

5. The Adverts – One Chord Wonders.

A: This was one of the first covers I ever played at 17 – at the time I was pretty new to playing the bass. It was simple and fun learning how to connect with the other musicians in the band. Hearing “The wonders don’t care, we don’t give a damn’, was so inspiring, especially when making music, trying to not let the expectations of others/society impose on what I/band were trying to create. Our intention was to satisfy our desire to make music, in hope it could disrupt/challenge the world around us, a world where I felt I was conditioned not to question.

From the ingredients in my food/products (resulting in me becoming vegetarian at 19 then vegan at 23 to date) to a world where gender roles felt as though they were controlled by advertising giants; telling us what to buy and how to feel, who to love – that smoking was safe! That sanitary products for woman are taxed, classed as a luxury item, that I couldn’t wear trousers at the all girl school I attended because I was female – we petitioned. I was angry and this track amongst other punk/industrial had a massive impact, in helping me find a voice.

6. Dhani Harrison – Summertime Police.

K: Big, lush synth sounds and that vocal… such a great track and an awesome sound. I think this is my favourite track from the In//Parallel record, which I pre-ordered as soon as was humanly possible after Panorama Festival in 2017. Ayşe and I were fortunate enough to meet Dhani after that show by some wonderful stroke of luck and serendipity. What an incredible guy and an outstanding musician in his own right.

The Lucky 7th: Kite Base- Nineteen.

K: ‘Nineteen’ is a nostalgic homage to carefree times spent dancing to music as a teenager. It is a fond reflection upon a time of youthful discovery in all its fleeting glory.

The video was made and directed by Kosho Nishimura using just an IPhone 7 and is filmed around Kyoto and Osaka station in Japan; places where people are in transit- arriving, departing, meeting new people- mimicking the ebb and flow of someone’s journey through time in general.

“The cranes are prayers and wishes to the young who are becoming adults and the old reflecting upon the dreams of their youth.” – Kosho Nishimura

Thankyou Kendra and Ayşe!

Kite Base are supporting Nine Inch Nails and The Jesus & Mary Chain on tour in the US in the Autumn:

09 October 2018 – Washington, USA
The Anthem: Supporting NIN / J&MC : Cold And Black And Infinite Tour 2018

10 October 2018 – Washington, USA
The Anthem: Supporting NIN / J&MC : Cold And Black And Infinite Tour 2018

13 October 2018 – NYC, USA
Radio City Music Hall: Supporting NIN / J&MC : Cold And Black And Infinite Tour 2018

23 November 2018 – New Orleans, USA
Saenger Theatre: Supporting NIN / J&MC : Cold And Black And Infinite Tour 2018

24 November 2018 – New Orleans, USA
Saenger Theatre: Supporting NIN / J&MC : Cold And Black And Infinite Tour 2018

More info about Kite Base on their official website below:

Here’s the famous pic of Kendra and Lesley Rankine with their matching signature Kite Base tee’s (hopefully I can recreate this pose too at some point!)

and here’s Kendra’s “song for ewe”…


and Ayşe’s: