Don’t paint them in pantomime, for behind Horsey’s zippy jackets and the salacious lights of their shows lies their wizardry. Like the hidden bauble round the back of the Christmas tree, Horsey lies in wait for anyone willing to delve into their kinky musical microcosm. They are something of an anomaly.Like the proverbial hidden bauble, they occupy their own space, but whew do they do it in style.
As with many South London bands, such as Archy Marshall, Goat Girl, Cosmo Pyke, Babeheaven, Jamie Isaac, Blue Puma and Dead Pretties to name but a few, Horsey occupy their own musical paddock in which their tear up the turf of what is musically common.
Thus, these loose-hooved bandits have, like an out-of-control foal, wreaked havoc in and amongst London’s backstreet bars and clubs and just about anywhere else they can prop up a few amps – they gravitate towards park bandstands, bingo halls, and Co-op parking lots by their own admission.
Along with playing a variety of venues, Horsey also plays to a variety of people, with their variety of sounds. Like an Indian takeaway Horsey caters for all tastes: from the cooling, soulful interludes of a raita, to the fiery, rampaging punk tantrums of a vindaloo, to the succulent jazzy promenades of a tikka to the aromatic, helicoptering jams of a Peshwari naan. However, unlike a takeaway, their gig tickets are very cheap so save your money for your ears rather than your stomach.
But hold your horses, before you go galloping off to one of their live sessions, you must chew on a bit of Horsey which is freshly available online.
Releasing the equivalent of an EP, ‘Everyone’s Tongue’ which is both glutinous and prickly. Jacob Read’s delicious guitar lead tiptoes between cowardice and intrigue, at once peaking round then skulking behind the corner of Theo McCabe’s jittery keyboard streaks. Recounting the grisly evisceration of Jacob’s corpse in the ‘shark infested waters’. On the Scoville scale this number definitely sits in the Extra-hot category. ‘Arms and Legs’ after a splutter lurches violetly into pained dotes of affection. The lyrics jerk from ‘take me to a salad bar’ to ‘touch me in an alleyway’ ensuring that you don’t know what’s coming round the corner. ‘Crohn Elf’, with its echoes of love, creates an atmosphere beyond belief before exploding into loveless oblivion. Their other two singles ‘Weeping’ and ‘Park Outside Your Mother’s House’, turn another corner in Horsey’s repertoire. Clanging cymbals and buttery, croaky vocals devilishly tell a story; ‘money was sparce but spirits were high’, a line which sums up this ‘dark-horsey’ of a band.
In between putting together a tour with the Oozmaster himself (King Krule), Horsey answered a few questions…
First up, who’s makes up Horsey and what inspired the name?
Theo McCabe, Jacob Read, Jack Marshall and George Bass. We met laughing at each other under the toilet cubicle doors at nursery school; so by anyone’s standards we go way back. We had a gig booked in before the band had been named and as Jacob was doing the artwork for it one night it dawned on him we had to work out our name before he could put it on the poster. At some point while we were throwing ideas around the combination of Horsey and the image of a camel had us howling, so we went for it. We didn’t take it, or anything, too seriously at that point. And we still don’t.
If Jerkcurb (Jacob’s solo outfit) is ‘where the chicken sauce meets the pavement’, what’s Horsey? Is it a stallion or a pony, or indeed a camel?
Horsey is the curbstone next to the pavement that met the chicken sauce. Alone and sauceless, it screams silently into the abyss of the night, longing to slip between the cracks in the drain it spends each waking hour beside.
What is a ‘Crohn Elf’?
The antagonist of a lustful nightmare
What genre would you place yourself in?
Experimental hobbit jazz rock. We also pride ourselves in being a part of the shrinking South London Bang-bang scene.
How do you come up with your crazily sumptuous at times sexual lyrics? (‘shooting me in the balls with a vagina bullet’ for example?)
We look inside our minds and souls, searching for the parts that have been corrupted by testosterone. Once found, we throw our desires into patterns on a screen with a magic lantern and capture them with a song.
That set you played at Molten Jets was really a sonic eruption, who’s idea were the swanky gold jackets and shoes? Is aesthetic important to Horsey, what with all your artwork, suits and boots?
We fucked around in a fancy dress shop for an afternoon and waited until the last possible moment to decide what we wanted. The gold jackets went well with the red velvet curtains and we just fell in love with the shoes. We also found that dressing as 70s gameshow hosts induced in us a powerful performance, so we wear them at gigs sometimes too. The aesthetics of Horsey come naturally to us as part and parcel of expressing our music.
How come there’s such an outpouring of musical and artistic flair coming out of South London?
There’s always been a lot of artists living in these areas but bands used to have to trek up to Camden, Shoreditch etc for good gigs. London moves quickly, and those places are full of twats and tourists now. In the last few years venues and clubs in South East London have improved and it’s kicked off a bit of a scene.
You’ve got a whole European tour coming up with King Krule, how can people help the cause? And why do you need cotton jodhpurs?
Check out our fundraising campaign where we are shamelessly taking our fans money… and we need cotton jodhpurs for riding the silky stallion fool.
When can we expect to see a Horsey album and a gig up in Scotland?
Soon man – we coming for u. On a side note we’ve got a lot of love for Edinburgh but the music scene there sucks stinky dick so see you in Glasgow.