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Talented quintet The Kates ready to release debut single

June 14th, 2024 12:00 PM

By Martin Claffey

Talented quintet The Kates ready to release debut single Image
The Kates release their first single later this month. (Photo: iamacosmonaut)

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FIVE West Cork singer songwriters who formed for a special cancer fundraiser will release their debut single later this month.

The Kates formed with a mission to highlight the need for more women in music, and release their single ‘All That Talk’ on June 21st, with an EP called Pictures Here Of Dreams later this year. The single will be launched at DeBarra’s Folk Club, Clonakilty on June

The Kates are Eve Clague, Liz Clark, Mary Beth O’Mahony, Míde Houlihan and Paula K O’Brien. All five have written and performed their own music for years, and have released albums as solo

Five years ago, Paula K O’Brien had the original idea to set up the all-women rock band, specifically for a fundraiser for ovarian cancer charity OvaCare.

‘The fundraiser was in memory of my mother Catherine who passed away from ovarian cancer, and she inspired the name,’ says Paula K. ‘She was a feminist who loved to lift other women up. The Kates have been going ever since.’

The premise behind forming The Kates back in 2017 was to showcase the depth and variety of songs by women in a time where it became obvious that radio play and festival slots featuring women were minimal.

‘Five years ago, there were very few female led bands, and certainly very few women artists being played on radio and performing at festivals,’ said Liz. ‘The Kates were borne from this, to shine a light on the major contribution women have made to the music industry.’

Up until now, The Kates have focused on performing songs written or performed by women, covers by artists like Sharon Van Etten, Orla Gartland, Angel Olsen, Lucy Dacus, Patty Smith, The Staves, Haim, shine a light on these incredible writers and performers.

All That Talk is their debut single as The Kates, and written by Míde Houlihan. ‘The song is about standing in your own way and feeling bad about it but also not being sure how to improve or address it,’ says Míde. ‘It’s about feeling a little frustrated with yourself in not being able to keep up with the world and how it moves.’

The Kates have already created a stir, selling out shows in DeBarra’s, St Matthew’s in Baltimore and Levis in Ballydehob. Last weekend they were one of the main attractions at the Ardfield Festival and they are booked for Night and Day Festival in Roscommon and Clonmel Busking Festival this summer.

‘Selling out local shows is something we absolutely feel so proud of and we feel so appreciative of the support we get,’ said Eve.

Paula K sees the band as ‘a vehicle to express ourselves in an environment that feels true to us as we are all individually songwriters and singers. We support each other. We love that in The Kates band, we are women in our 20s, 30s and 40s, allowing for the sharing of experiences and learning from each other.

‘The support and encouragement from our local communities has been integral to keep playing and to start writing together as a band. From our first gig in 2017 for the charity OvaCare to our single launch in DeBarras in 2024, we are so proud of how far we’ve come and we hope to keep on going.’

The Kates have just completed a five track EP of original songs, recorded in Wavefield Recording Studio Clonakilty. ‘Brian and Sarah from Wavefield worked so well with us, getting the very best out of us as musicians and singers, and also showing great understanding of the songs,’ said Mary Beth.

The Pictures Here Of Dreams EP features a track written by each member of The Kates and is due for release in September 2024.

The Kates ‘All That Talk’ single launch takes place in DeBarra’s Folk Club on June 21st.

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