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The Lockdown 2020 – Kim Jennett

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Anyone who’s ever seen Kim Jennett live will know that she is something special, her Download festival debut last year being one of the most talked about performances of the weekend.

This wasn’t overnight success though, having put years of hard work into honing her skills doing solo acoustic gigs in pubs in her hometown of Manchester and then fronting scintillating bluesy hard rockers Voodoo Blood as they toured throughout the UK.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE_ZvAeG-cI&w=560&h=315]

With a voice that went from a purr to an earth-shattering roar and a feral stage presence, it wasn’t long before the word started spreading about the diminutive singer.

Having been brought to the attention of former Jagged Edge, UFO, Skin and Red White & Blues guitarist Myke Gray by a mutual friend, he invited Voodoo Blood to open his show at Islington Academy and then things really started taking off for Jennett.

A hugely well respected six stringer, writer and producer, Gray had found the perfect person to replace the departing frontman of his solo project and the match of his huge talents and Kim’s were something made in Heaven as he mentored her to even greater heights.

Much writing and touring ensued, with a high-profile support slot for Black Star Riders seeing their place cemented in the hearts of rock fans all over the country, the buzz growing daily.

The set at Donington’s hallowed ground in 2019 saw a packed tent full of the committed and the curious getting absolutely blown away as Gray, Jennett and their bandmates proceeded to lay waste to the place. With work on her debut album and all their touring plans suspended due to the current global pandemic, it seemed a good time to catch up with Kim to see what she’s been up to recently.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKNUvPdMOvw&w=560&h=315]

First off, and most importantly: How are you doing?

I am doing well…it’s always nice to be asked that. So, thank you. How are you? It’s nice to check in with people at a time like this. Isn’t the internet an amazing tool to connect us all, right?!

Have you been doing any online live shows or seen any good ones?

I perform a weekly live show on Sundays at 4.00pm. I started it on Facebook and I’m currently trying to move my following onto YouTube.

It’s kept me so busy I haven’t even had time to watch any others! Most of my time is spent learning the requests people give me for the next show, promoting it and making sure I get the best quality possible. I try to involve my audience as much as possible too so I give away a handmade set list to one of my supporters each week.

People have also been asking me to perform private live streams of my music for birthdays, anniversaries etcetera, so I have started doing those too. It’s a great way to get the family together and make a night out of it. I’ve done a couple now and they were really special, I have the best fans!

Have you had to change your way of writing material?

Before lockdown I wasn’t doing much writing as I was working with a songwriter so it’s definitely allowed me some musical freedom. I’ve been writing electronically on my laptop from home in my bedroom…it’s a lot more relaxed but I still have a long way to go as I’m a novice in the producing world. I’m definitely enjoying learning something new though.

Do you keep in touch with your fellow bandmates / other musicians much?

I have been in touch with a few musicians about collaborations which is exciting. I have a few in the works. Musicians that I usually wouldn’t get the chance to work with so that’s been cool!

What plans have you had to change this year?

Festivals and gigs. Seeing family. Weddings…well not mine (I am extremely happily single)

What do you think of the social distancing gigs (like the one that happened in Kansas this week – 229 people in a 1,100-seat venue) or the thought of drive-in gigs?

Hmmmm…I don’t know ha-ha. I just think people should watch live streams until it’s all blown over. What’s the point in risking it?

How do you think the music industry will have changed after this period of lockdown?

I have no idea. I like to try to live in the moment and not worry about the future too much. All I can do is control what I’m doing now. There isn’t any point even worrying or contemplating it, I could be using all that energy into throwing my laptop across the room when Cubase doesn’t want to work. (I would never do that I just wanted to sound rock and roll!)

What plans have you got for when the isolation finishes and gigs start back up again?

Seeing my family is top on my list. Hugging my friends and never taking that for granted. I would love to put on a few acoustic gigs too as I have been really enjoying going back to my roots during isolation. Kim Jennett acoustic tour? Who knows?

How can people support you during this time?

During this time, I think people have realized how important entertainment and music is so I want to try keep the integrity of it. Although my live streams are free people can tip me with the link provided when I go live as I think that gives the music more value.

I also have been working super hard to build on my Patreon and its starting to feel like a little community which is lovely. I post exclusive content on there…music, demos, behind the scenes stuff. I also send out posters and things to them and before the stream each week I do a soundcheck there.

I am aware it’s a difficult time though and even just a share like and comment on socials helps more than people realise.

Patreon – www.patreon.com/kimjennett YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4VQrckU7d7DjG8Xe4_hvsA (kim jennett)

Facebook – Kim Jennett

Instagram – kimjennettvox

Interview by Paul Monkhouse for MPM

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