There’s a disco-train a-comin’ to Dalston’s The Nest on Friday night, and you’d be wise to get on board. Celebrations are in order for the release of Sheffield-born Kathy Diamond’s second album. After 2007′s Maurice Fulton-produced Miss Diamond To You she’s back with a new project, a collaboration with Polish producer Max Skiba. On the night they’ll launch their album Kinky Dramas and Magic Stories, plus there will be performances by Willy Moon and Loverproof and dj sets by Little Boots, Artur8 and Alexis Taylor, singer of Hot Chip. The word ‘exciting’ doesn’t even begin to touch the sides of how we’re feeling about it all, but we calmed down just enough to ask Kathy Diamond some questions.
Is The KDMS your cheeky way to skip the Second Album Syndrome? Start a new project and have another debut album?
I never thought about that! That would have been a plan, but I’ve just finished making my second solo album. It’s taken a long time and it’s been a journey but finally we’ve done it. I just need to make some plans for it. Watch this space, I guess.
How did you hook up with Max Skiba? And when it did become clear you were coming up with a whole album worth of material?
Max and I got together in 2008, I think. I went over to Warsaw to do a gig but we hooked up on MySpace before that. He sent me a track to colloborate on and it turned out to be Never Stop Believing. Things just grew from there pretty organically. Before we knew it we had about four tracks and then he suggested starting a band. It really appealed to me, as I was doing PAs all the time and the opportunity to play with Max and a live band was too good to miss.
Did you and Max hit it off musically straight away? Can you describe your ‘process’?
It’s always so easy to work with Max, he’s a dream, really. So positive, so relaxed and so bloody talented. I never struggle to write to his instrumentals. It can be hard work with some people, but we fit really well writing together. Sometimes we get together in the studio in Warsaw and sometimes we do it over the net. Highwire was written in 20 minutes in the back of the car on the way to the studio with a massive hangover.
You covered Madonna’s Give Me All Your Luvin’ (download it for free). Any word from Camp Madonna?
I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you, ha ha! She does like us though, we hear, I can say that.
That’s quite the line-up for Friday’s party, did you hand-pick them all?
I know, exciting, isn’t it? It’s funny, but when I doing the press stuff for Miss Diamond To You, a journalist asked me who I’d like to duet with and I replied Hot Chip. Then a few years later (Hot Chip’s) Felix Martin remixes Tonight then Alexis goes and sings on his Wonderman remix with Justus Köhncke. I was blown away, happy days. I also mentioned I wouldn’t mind doing a duet with Prince, but I haven’t had a chance to check my messages… I can’t wait to see Little Boots too, she’s going to be ace. Also it will be good to have another northern girl in the house!
Did you grow up on a strict diet of disco or was it a late discovery for you?
My mum was always playing a bit of disco or soul whilst she was getting ready to go out, so Donna Summer, Stevie Wonder, Grover Washington Jr, George Benson and Bill Withers were on rotation as she was ironing her outfit.
What would be your Desert Island Disco Disc? Just the one, Kathy, we’re sorry.
Oh God, that’s hard. It depends what day it is, but I do love the 17 minute original of Donna Summer’s Love To Love You Baby. Just a really magical performance.
What’s next for Kathy Diamond?
Well, we have a lot of touring coming up with The KDMS. We’re off to Europe and Asia, then hopefully South America. Our shows are really hotting up now, people are singing our songs back so it feels very exciting. We just want to make people dance. That’s our mission.
The KDMS album launch party is at The Nest, 36 Stoke Newington Road, Friday 3 August from 9pm-4am, £7 entry. Image by Pascal Gambarte.