Saint Agnes

Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley
Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley
Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley
Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley
Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley
Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley
Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley
Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley

Saint Agnes are an explosive fuzz-laden rock n roll band with a wild west streak - with the emphasis on wild. Kitty from the band Lola Colt and Jon from The Lost Souls Club have joined forces, sharing a love of similar music. Their live performances are passionate, compelling and feature everything from vintage guitar to harmonica and keys. Debut single Old Bone Rattle boasts a riff that kicks you in the gut with a cowboy boot.

Energy Snake Records

Old Bone Rattle

Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley

Saint Agnes have just released their debut single, Old Bone Rattle, after a handful of thrilling gigs in London. It is clear they are having fun, and Jon says the duo embrace their influences and refuse to be bound by genres.

We realised we were a bit bored with the painfully self conscious way a lot of bands produced their music in London, refusing to have flair and always playing it safe to be ‘cool’.

Well we like guitar solos and Deep Purple keys as well as the more modern shoegaze and psych scene so went ahead and made the music we wanted to hear. So far the response has been amazing!

Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley

Exciting the audience

The gigs are wild and exciting - intense, fast and furious, with Kitty and Jon playing everything from guitars to harmonica, drums and keys, along with a guest bass player and a drummer.

While their influences could have rendered them a bit introspective, the reality is anything but. Kitty says it’s all about the live show.

The most important thing without a doubt is to connect with the audience. To excite them and ensure they leave on a high. For me playing live is where I feel the happiest. It’s what I get up in the morning for. I think it’s really important to rehearse a lot, to make sure you’re the very best you can be musically, and also to enjoy yourself.

Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley

No matter what the genre, if I see someone onstage giving it their all in a genuine way, so its really obvious that they are loving what they’re playing and having the best time, then I’ll love it too. You can’t fake that. An audience can tell a mile off if you’re fully into what you’re doing so the day I stop loving it is the day I’ll stop playing.

Jon has the same aim too.

I don’t think there are any rules other than to do what Kitty says, put your heart and soul into the music and be the best you can be.​

Working well, and aggressive shred-offs!

The sparks fly on stage - there is amazing presence, and interaction between the two of them, and Kitty tells us there is a good reason for that!

Jon is my best friend in the world and I feel completely at ease with him on and off stage. This is a curse and a blessing. It means we have no qualms about having blazing rows which do sometimes get carried on stage (it results in aggressive shred-offs). It also means, though, that we can musically express ourselves in the most productive way.

Writing music is, of course, extremely personal and it can be scary presenting your ideas to a band. Being so close means you can write without insecurity. I think as well that we work together well on stage because we love what we’re playing and it’s special to share the moment with someone who you’ve worked hard with to make it happen.

Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley

The songwriting partnership

So how do they write their songs? Kitty say’s it’s a musical partnership.

Usually one of us has a riff that we’ve come up with that we share with the other person, then the ideas just start flowing from there. We’re usually sat down with acoustics in one of our bedrooms when we have a spare evening with a bottle of wine.

It really is a 50/50 partnership with each new song being a combination of our ideas, for example with ‘Old Bone Rattle’ Jon came up with the main riff, I wrote the melody line, we both worked on the words and then I had the idea of the ridiculously dramatic organ breakdown halfway through. It’s very exciting having a second mind to write with and push you out of your usual song writing style. We’re also both very open to having our ideas re worked or developed so it’s quite a pain-free process. Though if one of has a real gut instinct about something we tend to go with it even if the other person disagrees.

That ‘letting go’ can reap dividends says Jon.

Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley

It’s great to take my hands off the wheel when I reach a sticking point with an idea and see what Kitty comes up with. It usually something I could never have imagined myself, but is just what the song needs.​

Mixing up vintage and budget finds

Saint Agnes mix up high end and lo fi kit and seem to relish the challenge of working with limited resources. They say they have been recording their tracks quickly as an experiment to see what they can do with minimal computer gear.

The demos are sometimes just recorded on a phone to make a note of a melody or riff, but then we begin recording into Cubase and the demo becomes the full song. The writing and recording happen at the same time.​

Saint Agnes - pic Terry Tyldesley

We’re not the world’s richest band so a lot of what we use is fairly budget, but we’ve spent quite a while honing it to what works well for our sound. So 90% is cool lo-fi stuff then a few REALLY cool items like Kitty’s 1961 Hofner Verithin.

We recorded in a tiny flat in East London so couldn’t mic an amp. We then ran various pedals through Guitar Rig to get our sounds. So it’s all the diamonds in the rough of cheaper stuff, some of it things we’d not expected would be so cool. Tell people you use a Zoom fuzz pedal and they tend to wince, but I own I think 10 different fuzzes and this one is just amazing!

Saint Agnes have also recorded a cover of The Doors’ Roadhouse Blues, that is the B side of their new 7” single.