Hetty Kate & the 2020s
By Crimson Cat
You were born in England but brought up in Australia. Do you consider yourself Australian or English?
Well I consider myself both really, but after spending three months in England this year I realised that I’m more Australian – I’ve been here for over twenty years after all! It really felt like home when I came back to Melbourne in April and Vegemite sure beats the hell out of Marmite anyday!
How did you get the name Hetty Kate Is it your stage name?
Hetty Kate is my name! Hetty was my grandmothers name too, and is a little old fashioned I suppose…a little like Doris or Ethel!
How did your love of music begin?
I was lucky to have parents that encouraged music lessons from a very young age, and took me to the theatre in London often – I got to see all the most famous Broadway productions and fell in love with the music, the shows and the songs!
You’ve performed in 4 continents of the world, where has been your favourite?
I loved Santiago in Chile, the sunshine, the people, the language and the food! It’s a very dangerous place for the waistline. I also love going to New York I have some wonderful friends there and it’s definitely a home away from home but I tell you what, coming back to Melbourne has been a real treat too! It’s too hard to pick just one place..
What is the most interesting thing you experienced during your travels?
I think going to Chile and having to learn Spanish. I spoke absolutely NO Spanish when I arrived there, and had to pick it up pretty quickly. After three months I wasn’t too bad, Rosetta Stone and having to communicate with a band that didn’t speak English, sure helped a lot! I did have some pretty hilarious mistakes, though didn’t offend anyone too badly.
What inspired you to get butterflies tattooed onto your leg?
Gosh I just like butterflies...I always have and they remind me of the butterflies in our garden when I was a little girl in England. I also like tattoos.
You released your album "A Late Brunch on Irwell Street" with Sam Lemann in June 2009 at The Paris Cat, how was recording that album?
It was an utter treat and a very easy process really, again Sam Lemann, Andy Baylor and Leigh Barker are very accomplished musicians and band leaders in their own right – so the music flowed smoothly! I’m looking forward to the next one! You can visit our album site at www.hettyandsam.com
When are you planning to release your new album?
The 2020s Album is still in postproduction and we’re working hard to make it the best that we can. It’s such a labour of love and important not to rush these things. We hope it’ll be out in the next few months. I must say it’s a really special record! It features Steve Purcell (Double Bass) Dale Lindrea (Tenor Guitar) Dean Hilson (Saxophone) Vinnie Bourke (Trumpet) and Lenny ‘Sharky’ Ramos (Drums) – with some original songs and fantastic arrangements of standards and weird 60s and 70s hits.
After Red Bennies, where can we expect to see you perform next?
I’ll be in Melbourne for the next few months, doing some more recording and working on the albums I have out at the moment – so I’ll be around town here and there. The next gig after Red Bennies will be with my Jazz Quintet at The Paris Cat on June 6th a very different gig than this one, but it will be a lovely way to showcase some other songs I love.
Hetty Kate & The 2020s perform as part of the Stonnington Jazz Festival at Red Bennies on Thursday 27th May