Kite. We can talk about anything but the Bolshoi

After The Bolshoi imploded in the late eighties I was more than a little disappointed. Each album was getting better, they were attracting more and more fans, and were playing large venues, particularly in South America, where they were actually becoming pop stars. Their potential was massive, and then, nothing. It was all over.

A few years later I heard that Trevor Tanner had a new band, Kite, and was playing some small venues in London. I grabbed my cassette player and jumped on a train. The venue was a dingy pub in Camden Town. An interview was quickly arranged with Trevor and Jasper Stainthorpe, the bassist.

Due to a late soundcheck, and then a really early start that surprised everyone including the retired pub regulars who, trying to use their hands to cover both their ears and carry their pints, rushed to the exit, the interview was short.

Too short to make use of at the time, but worthy of posting today, particularly as I recently came across a tape of songs from Kite's unreleased album. the songs have not aged, and show the huge potential of the band.

Anyway, on with the interview first.

BTA: Great to catch up again with you Trevor. What have you been doing in the last few years?

Trevor Tanner: "Hi Simon. It's been a while I know. I was off on my motorbike, just travelling and doing really weird stuff totally unrelated to music. Things like painting houses in the USA. And now I'm back in cold and dreary London."

"Just one thing before we get going. We can talk about anything but The Bolshoi."

A brief silence ensues as I mentally cross off the first half of my questions for Trevor.

Jasper Stainthorpe: "But you can ask me questions about Then Jerico! I am sure I have some stories to tell!"

Trevor Tanner (laughing): "You were just a bunch of pretty boys"

Jasper Stainthorpe: "Nothing wrong with that. But we were pretty boys with some great songs!".

BTA: We are in this tiny Camden pub, a few years ago you were playing to thousands in arenas. It's going to feel a bit strange?

Trevor Tanner: "Simon. I think that might be considered a Bolshoi question. You are not doing that well, are you? (he laughs).

"Look. The Bolshoi just finished. I don't really want to talk about that. Financially maybe it was not the best time as Mike Edwards from Jesus Jones, who were massive after 'Right here, Right now' was number 1 everywhere, used to be a couple of years younger at my school, and he really looked up to us and wanted the band to tour with Jesus Jones at all these stadium gigs. We had to turn him down."

"I had a great time, we played some great gigs, but that is in the past. It had run its time, and now I think I have just as good a band with Kite. This is one of our very first gigs and I have had to make sure that our manager stops putting 'From the Bolshoi' on our gig posters."

"We are good enough to stand by ourselves, we have some great songs as you will see later on tonight. It's a small pub, but this is just the start. We all have been through the music industry, and we know what works and how to use it to our advantage."

BTA: Tell me about the band.

Trevor Tanner: "I have known Jase for years, and as you might have guessed he was in Then Jerico, and Gerry (Jones) is a great drummer. I like going back to basics as a three-piece, and we can all fit in one car! As you will hear later we have been busy writing."

Jasper Stainthorpe: "We have already booked sessions with Adrian Borland (from The Sound) as our producer for our first album in a few weeks time"

"We are going to be playing much bigger places than this. We have bookings at the Marquee, and a UK tour is being planned."

At that point, a big bald-headed man wandered over and said "You're on now. It's midweek and our music license finishes early".

And that was that. From memory, the gig was great, albeit equally short, only about thirty minutes long due to the licensing issues. I did see the band again, in Bath, which had become their home town, but never finished the interview.

I did, however, get Kite a corporate gig at an IBM function (a complicated story for another time) which I unfortunately missed as I was overseas. And what a shame as I was soon to discover. Chaos ensued, equipment was broken, there were noise complaints, people were being thrown into a swimming pool (including the hired DJ, who was most upset), and the IBM CEO getting involved. I was never asked to book a corporate gig for IBM again.

As part of the gig promotion I was sent a cassette with tracks from the forthcoming, but sadly never released, album.

Time Goes

Forever in Your Eyes

Beautiful Creature

These tracks would have stood out on a Bolshoi release, and show that Kite had the songs to become as successful as the individual members' previous bands. My personal favourite is 'Time Goes', a great tune that would have made a good single, but both 'Forever in your eyes' and 'Beautiful Creature' (an absolute rocker of a song. love the mangled electric guitar distortion) are stand out tracks as well. Play very loud.

Comment below on what your favourite Kite song is!

My earlier interviews with the Bolshoi, are here and here.

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