Wednesday 21 March 2018

Q&A: David Kitt

Ed Power

Ed Power

Good evening, David. Ten years since your most successful record The Big Romance, you're performing the album in its entirety at Vicar Street. Ker-ching!

It was friends and family who said I should do it. I succumbed to their advice. Also, from being out and about, I ran into a lot of people who had a story about that record. It felt like something that would be worth doing. It's a nice chance to get a good few people into Vicar Street -- a good way of reminding people about those shows from all those years ago.

You were taking a bit of a risk, though, weren't you? If it didn't sell, you'd look like yesterday's man.

I really wanted it to be Vicar Street. People were a bit worried about filling it. The initial response was so good, though, we said, 'okay, let's move it to Vicar Street'. I'm thrilled about that.

Listening back to songs you wrote as a starry-eyed 20-something, are you astonished at your youthful naïvety? Or do you think, 'hey, that kid's got talent'?

Maybe there are one or two songs like that, that I wrote when I was 21. The others were more like 24, 25 -- there really isn't much I'd disown there. The only one where it really felt like the work of a much younger man was Song From Hope Street. It's probably 14 years since I wrote that.

When The Big Romance came out, it looked like everything was happening for you. But things didn't quite pan out and your past few albums have been self-released. What happened?

The major difference with The Big Romance is that it was on Warner Music Ireland. You had 15 people making sure it was heard. As opposed to the last one, The Nightsaver, which was just me. I'm not particularly good at running a label, I'm starting to realise.

Are you angry at the trajectory your career has taken?

You get these moments where maybe it is your 15 minutes of fame. Where you get that extra push. Musically, I think I've succeeded with each record I've done. You are aware sometimes that the appeal of what you are doing isn't going to be great. Even the record I put out after The Big Romance [2003's Square One]... it was almost a willful attempt to go from east to west.

It is well known that you had high hopes for The Nightsaver and were peeved it didn't receive a nomination for the Choice ...

I thought it would have appealed to a lot of The Big Romance fans. I think it's an indication of the way music sales are going -- I'd like to think it got listened to more than the sales would suggest. These things find their audience eventually. So whether I'm going to be 55 and doing a retrospective at the Barbican or whether it's when I'm long gone, I have faith those records will get heard.

The music world was at your feet when The Big Romance came out. If you had the past 10 years back, what would you do differently?

Life can get in the way of your muse and your creativity and your ability to keep your eye on the ball. I've reached a place now where I'm more motivated. In the past 12 months it's turned around. I've written my next record. I've been doing stuff with Tindersticks. I used to think it was a curse -- you put so much into this and you don't see yourself getting the rewards. It's a struggle to make ends meet but I have an appetite again. I don't believe in regretting and looking back when you feel you are on to something creatively.

David Kitt plays The Big Romance at Vicar Street Friday December 9

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