In conversation with Haggard Cat at Beat The Streets

Sean went down to Beat The Streets on Sunday and got a chance to have a chat with rock band Haggard Cat before their set, here’s how it went:

Favourite venues in Nottingham?

We absolutely love JT Soar and Chameleon, but we’re lucky to have all these independent venues like Rock City and Rescue Rooms rather than a faceless O2 Academy.

Favourite Local Bands?

94 Gunships – they’ve got lots of bluegrass/shanty elements and are playing Beat the Streets later on, but most of our favourite bands keep breaking up lately. I suppose Palm Reader count now too also.

Who do you recommend to see at Beat the Streets?

Towers and Evil Scarecrow

How do you get into your stage persona?

Always with stretching and vocal warmups to get us in the zone – you always feel a bit flat if you don’t prepare beforehand, so we’re both big on warming up

Do you feel like you represent Nottingham as a ‘big’ local band?

We’ve been around a lot – we wouldn’t say we’re the biggest band but we’re the band who haven’t gone

Do you like it when people recognise you?

Yeah – I think it’s because we tour all the time and have gained a reputation – it’s not any sort of ‘fame’ but it’s just because we’ve been around a lot. It’s nice when someone recognises you and you can show off to your mates like ‘I’m in the band’

Where did you first start out?

We did a lot with ‘I’m Not From London’ (local DIY promoter) but we were very lucky that when we started the local scene was so busy and we were doing circuits of Nottingham all the time – but you need to make sure to play in other cities so you don’t just get stuck here.

How did you both start?

We’ve been in a fair few bands, Haggard Cat is Tom’s fourth band. We both just decided we wanted to take it seriously and we’ve always been in a few bands together. Meeting people in the local scene has been so helpful as well – the community vibes between bands are great in Nottingham, everyone helps each other out such as putting bills together with local friends.

Do you always make sure to watch all the bands on the bill when you’re playing?

Absolutely – it’s really important to us and it’s so helpful as a method of finding new bands too. As a headliner you have a responsibility to know who these bands are. You’re never going to have a sense of community if you just show up and play last but don’t get involved with the others

Favourite place to go in Notts?

The Town Mill in Mansfield was absolutely the best venue ever and it made Mansfield into a proper place to stop off for tours and had some really big bands, but it’s sadly closed now

Who would your dream tour be?

We would absolutely love to play with Biffy Clyro – that would be a great gig, they seem like such nice guys, and their evolution has been great and they’re still an interesting band. Raketkanon would be incredible again, they’re just such an unreal band and I could absolutely never tire of watching them

Favourite festival?

Would absolutely love to play Download as Haggard Cat, there would be an incredible amount of people, Reading was mind-blowing and we would just love to play 2000 Trees as many times as possible

Are you going to play 2000 Trees this year then?

No Comment

Favourite city to play?

Probably Leeds because it was the first place we ever played outside of Nottingham, or Bristol it’s like our second home. But playing in Europe always has much better hospitality – there’s hot food put on and it’s just more comfortable.

Any news on a new album?

Watch the social media, there will be new material before the end of 2019

Any new influences on the new music?

Things are getting much darker than on Challenger, and more groove is being added to the mix too

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