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Unsigned Manchester band Feed The Kid are set to launch their new single Coming Back For You at the Ruby Lounge, 20 Nov, where they’ll play a set supported by King Kartel and Mayflower. We speak to frontman Curtis Taylor about the literal meaning of their name and why they’re friends of Big Issue North, and one vendor in particular.

Describe Feed The Kid’s music to the uninitiated.
We have been described as retro, blues, country, but I guess it’s just rock and roll. I think each band member listens to something different and this filters through. For now it’s hard to pinpoint what we are – I hope we are something new! All we can give you are the comparisons we usually get – T-Rex, The Doors, The Verve, early Pearl Jam, Free, but my favourite is Oasis if Noel Gallagher was the frontman.

There’s a country influence in your music and country music is having a bit of a moment in the UK. Do you think that’s been instrumental in you gaining recognition?
Feed The Kid never set out to be anything really. The country vibe came from Ciaran. Although born in Manchester he lived in Ireland for many years. His guitar style and sound gives it this country feel. It’s interesting as there’s a bit of a following in Ireland. I believe we get played on XTE2 radio quite a bit. I think people see us as something refreshing in the music scene. At this moment in time there’s a lot of psych and blues bands about. Having said that I don’t think we are entirely country. I think purists would have something to say about us calling ourselves that. That element is surely there, but we are an amalgamation of our influences, and luckily it works.

Tell me about your band name.
I said Feed The Kid never set out to be anything, and we didn’t, hence the name. How can I put this: we are a bunch of young lads, and Adam – Smithy, the drummer – became a dad very quickly. Anyway, Ciaran and I were doing open mics and we wanted to take it to the next step. Smithy needed a bit of help at the time, so we decided to go with the name Feed The Kid until we became more sturdy, then we’d probably change it. The idea was to get money from gigs, which would go directly to Smithy. This didn’t happen – anyone starting a band to get money, stop now! Needless to say, we never changed the name, as it seemed to gather pace and momentum very quickly.

“I am not a political activist, I just know right from wrong”

What’s it like for an emerging band in Manchester?
Tough. There’s so many good bands out there. It’s a long process.

What’s your involvement with Big Issue North?
It wasn’t until I moved into the city centre until I bought it every week and I met Colin. Colin sold Big Issue North at the old Cornerhouse – seems weird saying that – and now sells It at Home, which is the new, and some say improved Cornerhouse. Colin has actually featured as a mob boss in a film there. If you see him, ask him to do his part. Anyway we became friends – pretty much speak to him every day. I know he will read this so I am the reigning champ at pool. Needless to say, Colin is a top guy and a top laugh. He has become a little a part of our group and my mates always go and see him and have the craic.

Why is Big Issue North important to you?
The Big Issue is sold all around the UK, but for me I always felt it was a big part of the north. Recently Manchester has had a large amount of press with political cuts and the lack of shelter for homeless people. People rally around a good cause. Each individual’s response makes a difference, and I think we have seen this of late. I am not a political activist, I just know right from wrong, and helping people get back on their feet is a good cause. People giving to charities is a beautiful humanitarian thing, and it’s the right thing to do. However, for me there’s a massive difference between X amount of money exiting my bank account at the end of the each month, and Big Issue North. I read a success story in the magazine two weeks ago – I have just tried to scramble round the flat find it – but if you read it, that what’s it’s all about!

Antonia Charlesworth

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