Interviews no image

Published on June 5th, 1997 | by Gerry Galipault


Join Kenickie down ‘At the Club’

‘Grease” is nearly the word for Britain’s latest pop sensation, Kenickie.

The tidy guitar band – made up of three 19-year-old women and a 20-year-old male drummer – takes its name from the bad-boy character played by Jeff Conaway in the hit movie from 1978, the year the women were all born.

Conventionality belongs to yesterday, and Kenickie goes as far as it can with its debut Warner album “At the Club,” out June 17. It straddles Go’s-Go’s pop, Blondie-like punk and a general frenzy, lacing it with just enough fetching detail, such as the infectious handclaps on the track “Millionaire Sweeper.” One British writer described them as “the Shirelles meets the Ramones.”

Bassist Emmy-Kate Montrose loves it.

“That sums it up better than I can,” she said recently. “I think even for us it’s difficult to describe our sound, because we have so many musical influences. (Guitarist) Marie (Du Santiago) loves everything, (singer) Lauren (Le Laverne) is into pop music and I like Motown and soul. Put all those influences together and it gives us our sound.”

Le Laverne, Du Santiago and Montrose have been friends since grade school, when they always sat together in the back of class and passed notes. They shared an obsession for Gary Numan, even though they were all in diapers when “Cars” helped usher in the new wave era. Like their male counterparts, Ash, they formed their band while in high school, then recruited Le Laverne’s older brother, Johnny X, to play drums.

“We didn’t know how to play any instruments, but we thought we could learn,” Montrose said. “When we learned to play, we were pretty good. There’s no concept, it’s just us playing punk-influenced rock ‘n’ roll.”

Their early demos caught the sharp ears of renowned British disc jockey John Peel, who played them on the air before they were signed and also predicted big things. One cut, “Come Out 2 Nite,” was voted No. 1 in Peel’s annual “Festival 50” list last year.

An eight-song EP, “Catsuit City,” on the Newcastle, England, label Slampt earned them a spot opening for the Ramones at their farewell Brixton Academy gig. Another EP, “Skillex,” prompted Bob Stanley of the British group Saint Etienne to sign them to his EMI-affiliated label, Emidisc. Their first major-label single, “Punka,” cracked the U.K. Top 40.

By then, they were plastered on the covers of New Musical Express and Melody Maker, from Aberdeen to Exeter.

“We’re big enough now to be working all the time, and we get a bit more artistic freedom,” Montrose said. “We’re obviously not getting mobbed on the streets, but every now and then we’ll be on the train and someone will scream out. You catch yourself looking around, going ‘Who? Me?’ “

All in all, the ride to fame has been enjoyable, Montrose said, but whether it flies in the United States is anyone’s guess.

“We just wanted to make the best album we possibly could,” she said, “and we’re all very, very proud of it. I hope people in America will like it, because it’s a fun record.”

BWF (before we forget): The group has since broken up, but fans still maintain a Web site.

Tags: ,

About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑


    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    June 24, 2022 » Luke Combs, Jimmie Allen, Conan Gray, GIVĒON, Jack Johnson, Regina Spektor, Soccer Mommy, Lupe Fiasco, G. Love, Porcupine Tree, Trixie Mattel, MUNA, Empress Of, Janiva Magness, BoDeans, Alexisonfire, Zola Jesus, etc.

    July 1, 2022 » Imagine Dragons, Fleet Foxes, ITZY, Shinedown, Rusty, Burna Boy, Tedeschi Trucks Band, UB40 Featuring Ali Campbell & Astro, Paul Anka, Grey Daze, Paolo Nutini, Klaus Schulze, etc.

    July 8, 2022 » James Bay, Journey, Metric, Rae Morris, Laura Veirs, The Delondes, Tye Tribbett, Richie Furay, Blind Channel, Delicate Steve, etc.

    More New Releases » July 15 and Beyond: Lizzo, Interpol, beabadoobee, Alan Parsons, Jack White, ODESZA, Gilbert O’Sullivan, She & Him, Cuco, Dawes, Maggie Rogers, Hayley Kiyoko, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Amanda Shires, Arch Enemy, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Collective Soul, Del Amitri, Panic! At the Church, Eric Church, Five Finger Death Punch, Hot Chip, The Mountain Goats, Walter Trout, Muse, Marcus King, Alanis Morissette, Ingrid Andress, Ezra Furman, YUNGBLUD, Rina Sawayama, Ozzy Osbourne, Built to Spill, Flogging Molly, Robbie Williams, Death Cab for Cutie, LeAnn Rimes, The London Suede, 5 Seconds of Summer, Beth Orton, Dr. John, Nikki Lane, Denzel Curry, Pixies, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lamb of God, Ava Max, Lightning Seeds, Simple Minds, Daniel Avery, Larkin Poe, Meghan Trainor, Michael Jackson, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2022 and beyond but have yet to be scheduled

    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.

    Via PayPal:

    – or –

  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter