Artist: The Fabulous Red Diesel
Title: The Queensbury House Sessions
Release: EP Out Now
Lead Track: Butterfly Mind
F.F.O: Madeleine Peyroux; Joni Mitchell; Frank Zappa
”Beyond the theatrics of make-up that’s just a little extra; peacock-feather ‘n’ tie dye shirts and a rainbow emitting disco ball lies a voice with the call of the sirens and a hot handle on the blues” –
Debbie Bourke, jazz journalist
The Fabulous Red Diesel are a collective quite unlike any other and their new album, The Queensbury House Sessions, looks to introduce them into the hearts and minds of music fans everywhere. A husband and wife on vocals and drums; a transgender trumpeter and double-bassist; and a synth player and guitarist named Rabbi Jaffa Delicious – on paper unconventional but their sound will hypnotise you, a beguiling mix of smoky jazz and achingly swooning soul, their latest single is Butterfly Mind, a track which says that no matter how your mind flits from one idea to the next, true love remains constant.
The Fabulous Red Diesel are Ms Kitty (Kat Lee-Ryan) on vocals, keys and flute; Duke Boom (husband, Will Lee-Ryan) on drums; Miss Bea-Have (Beatrice Gullick) on double bass, tuba and trumpet and Rabbi Jaffa Delicious (Simon Dobell) on guitar and trumpet. Based in Hastings, they have built up a loyal fanbase, not only through their live shows which have seen them supporting and playing alongside the likes of The James Taylor Quartet, Skunk Anansie and Jeff Buckley but also their unique sound, fusing classic 60s soul with jazz arrangements and a rhythm section which can skip from hip-hop beats to Latin to funk. The Queensbury House Sessions is their new album, sixteen extraordinary tracks, each recorded in just one take at a disused office block (called, yes, Queensbury House) to truly capture their live sound.
Writing songs like spells, Butterfly Mind is best summed up by the writer, Kat:
“It’s about the way my brain works and the way music flits from one person to another, changing their perception (hopefully for the better) by tiny inspirational touches. And then it’s also a love song – I am married to the drummer and I’m saying no matter how many twists and turns and expansions my mind has, I am always grounded in him – you know I’ve got a butterfly mind but I settle on you ‘’
Although defiantly upbeat and circus-like in their approach to entertaining audiences, Kat’s own life has been touched by tragedy, her sister taking her own life in 2006. As part of the grieving process, she wrote and developed a stage show called Sparkly Bird which has gone on to sell-out theatres as well as educate audiences about mental health at Universities and for the NHS. With songs written by Ms Kitty and the music, of course, performed by The Fabulous Red Diesel (and with aerial performances, a narrator and dance), it’s yet another side of a collective who mix their ideas and personalities with real passion, flair and invention.