Interview: Kaibosh

By londonist_mark Last edited 164 months ago
Interview: Kaibosh

"Will the drummer and the keyboard player please come to the stage". It's could be considered an inauspicious start to the show but kudos to Kaibosh for laughing off the fact that half their number are still queuing at the bar. Indeed you'd be forgiven for thinking that had half the band still been the other side of town it wouldn't have overly worried them.

On stage they play with a confidence that doesn't quite belie their relatively short life span but already it's apparent that these guys are going to be able to stand their own on a much larger stage than that of 93 Feet East. Certainly with new tracks like Curse This Day and it's epic Foo Fighters style chorus you can easily imagine Kaibosh at next year's Reading given a few lucky breaks.

Live they take a much darker and heavier sound than is on their debut EP And Now For Plan C with only final track Los Ojos retaining the Chilli Peppers funk of the original. Tracks like I Took That From You, which the guys have kindly let us have a copy of for you to listen to, lie more closely with the dark musings of Soundgarden and QOTSA. Although frontman Jim Wilkins resembles less the hulking Josh Homme and (he probably won't forgive me for this) more of an energised Grant Nicholas.

We recently popped the Londonist Music questionnaire to the guys to find out a little about them and this is what they had to say:


*With Jim Wilkins and sporadic e-mail interjections from keyboard Chris and Ross bass…

Who's In The Band? I sing and play guitar, Chris does the keys, Ed plays the drums and Ross plays the bass… and we’re looking for another guitar player at the moment.

What Do You Do In The Real World? One’s at the Beeb, one’s a press officer, one’s in IT and I do media stuff.

Describe Your Sound To Us Hot and cold, gritty-dark-edged-rock tempered with soul-twinged-melodic vocal, a vitriolic dry slap across… oh I don’t know. Answers on a postcard to

How Did You All Get Together? Chris and I played in a band together called Shabeen at Leeds Uni, Ed went to school with Chris in Oxford and we met Ross randomly after all moving to London…

Who Are Your Influences? As always very mixed, I’m into Jeff Buckley, Mars Volta, QOTSA; Ross is into Stereolab, Guided By Voices, Grateful Dead and Mudhoney; Chris is into Ray Charles, Deep Purple, Black Crows, Debussy and Ed’s into his Dr John (and much more but he’s in Krakow at the moment so can’t speak for himself!)

What's The State Of Play With The Band At The Moment? Our EP is in HMV Ox Circus, Sister Ray, Select-a-disc and Rough Trade at the mo and few other shops (through Criminal Records). Now that we’ve crafted our sound more, we hope to start pushing our music out there – we’ll aim for radio play, getting some bigger gigs, supporting high profile bands and basically begin to get some more widespread recognition. We also hope meet some like minded bands and do some gigs around the country. I think we’ve moved on a lot since our first EP and I’m excited about getting our new stuff out there.

Where Can We Hear / See You Next? Wednesday 20th at the Pleasure Unit in Bethnall Green, and 23rd / 24th July @ The Truck Festival in Steventon near Oxford

What's The Big Game Plan For The Band? Really concentrate on developing our style further (we’ve only been going for just over a year), keep writing good and ultimately honest music, hope that some people will identify with it and maybe some day buy a van rather than carting equipment on public transport! Fundamentally, we’d like to generate genuine and original material that people can feel passionate about with us.

Who Would You Most Like To Support Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals, Death From Above 1979, Muse, QOTSA, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Black Crows

What's Your Ultimate Label To Be On? Someone like Fierce Panda / Rough Trade who has the contacts and experience to support you and help you grow but won’t smother you with a commercial agenda…

What's the best gig you've ever been to? Too many to mention, Radiohead, White Zombie or Helmut at Reading 95, Roni Size in Leeds, Biohazard at Brixton Academy, Motorhead at The Royal Opera House (Jim), Menlo Park at Union Chapel, Underworld at Tribal Gathering (Chris), Cornelius at the Royal Festival Hall (Ross)

Have You Ever Thrown A TV Out Of A Hotel Window? I once threw myself out of a beach side bungalow.. does that count?

Would You Like To? Most definitely, so long as it wasn’t my TV.

Any Great Stories From The Road? We witnessed the early stages of a threesome in after-party hotel room – none of the band were involved and we most certainly didn’t stay for the proceedings. We knew the guy involved and he was eternally grateful for the room. Keyboards Chris also has a stalker, a young man who clutches a plastic bag and watches his every move… he watched Chris intensely at last years Truck Festival so he may be there this year too. We have photographic evidence.

Recommend One Album To Our Readers You Don't Think They Will Have Discovered. Swordfish Trombone by Tom Waits – my dad introduced this to me when I was quite young, took a few years to absorb, but its well worth it. Ross recommends Insignificance by Jim O’Rourke… he’s a genius apparently.

Why Should Londonist Readers Go And See You? Playing live is extremely important to us – we don’t wear suits and ties so we’re not afraid of getting our clothes dirty. The performances are always honest, passionate, a bit sweaty and getting better every time.

So What's Your Favourite:

Venue To Play In London? Electric Ballroom in Camden, The Verge (now called Bullet) in Kentish Town has a nice sound, The Garage in Islington is intimate, Nambucca in Holloway is local, Bar Lorca in Brixton is dingy but cool and the small room at the Islington Arts Factory where we practice on Tuesdays.

Venue To Go To In London? The Garage, Acoustix at The Bedford, Chapter 1 in Stroud Green (live semi-improvised / semi-open mic blues and jazz on Sundays), back room at 93 Feet East…

Record Store? Select A Disc (Berwick Street),FOPP

Shop (non-music)? Mash on Ox Street, Jaipur Design on Goodge Street, bargain bins of Woolworths (you’re sure to find your heroes of yesteryear being sold for tuppence), Friers Delight on Theobalds Road

Market? Spitalfields, Camden Stable Market or Borough Market (for crazy licensing laws – Ross)

Place To People-watch? The Workers café in Upper Holloway for genuine Shaun Of The Dead moments

Place To Chill-out? Landseer Pub (N19) for Trivial Pursuit and great Sunday Roasts

Place To Get Lashed? Among others, J3 in Angel, Angies of Holloway, Mini Bar (by The Garage, great line-up posters from festivals past and weekend DJ’s playing 90’s alternative classics), Legion on Old Street, Big Chill on Brick Lane.

Place For A Post-gig Kebab? Effe’s on Great Portland Street or any 1 of the 463 on the Holloway Road.

View In London? Above my friends Alex and Jolanta’s flat in N19 at the top of the Holloway Rd. It’s about 5 floors up and at a real vantage point. You can see the whole of London and at dawn it’s breathtaking. Just try not to fall off.

Form Of Public Transport? Bus - at least you can see some scenery. Keyboard Chris takes his bicycle everywhere, but that’s far too ‘extreme sport’ for me.


What Advice Would You Give Ken Livingstone? “Thanks for letting the tubes run later on New Years Eve, but there still seems to be a few problems down there – would you mind looking into it, no hurry, in your own time.”

What London Place Or Thing Would You Declare A Landmark? Tate Modern, Elephant & Castle shopping centre, that bloke who says “are you a sinner or a winner” on Oxford Street (Chris). Oh yeah, and our drummers ex-beard.

The World Is Ending In 24 hours. How Would You Spend Your Last Day In London? Get rid of Greenwich (after housing and relocating all its residents first of course) and hence destroying GMT in the hope that whoever was planning to the end the world wouldn’t know when the 24 hours was up. Sounds like basis for a great film. I think….? The GMT Conspiracy, The Greenwich Menace, …. moving on swiftly?

Have You Ever Been Sick On The Tube? Not the tube, but on the 12.45am from Liverpool Street to Brentwood. There’s nothing more disconcerting than a packed train, severe nausea and a whole 5 mins to go before the next stop. Never been so happy to see Manor Park in my life.

If You Could Sink One Part Of London Into The Sea, Which Bit Would It Be? Elephant And castle shopping Centre, Archway Tower or at least the respective architects houses.

Greatest Thing Ever To Come Out Of London? Spaced (Jim), Punk-rock (Ross), The Thames (Chris)

What Advice Would You Give To Someone New To London Getting On A Night Bus For The First Time? If they hear the words “Happy-Slap” they should duck.

If You Could Write A Song About London What Would It Be Called And What Kind Of Song Would It Be? It’d be a ballad with a monstrous heavy metal chorus that highlights the love-hate, on-off, relationship that you have with any huge city you live in. Oh, and it’d have 10 minute saxophone solo thrown in a la Kenny G to accompany a city skyline night shot with the music video… think the soundtrack to 80’s sit-com ‘Moonlighting’ with Bruce Willis and ‘This Love’ by Pantera and you’ve got the idea.

and finally Sum Up London In A Word Chameleonic...

We have a copy of Kaibosh's CD: & Now For Plan C to give away. All you have to do is email us with the answer to the following question. Do you want a copy of the Kaibosh cd.

A) Yes

B) No

If the link doesn't work then email us at with the subject line Kaibosh.

If you're a band looking to get coverage in Londonist, get in touch with the music team, after reading these handy tips on How To Get Into Londonist's Music Posts.

All Pictures © Kenneth Yau 2005

Last Updated 14 July 2005