Behind The Microphone – Gallows Ghost

 It is my pleasure to introduce to you Gallows Ghost, fronted by the beautiful and talented Kate Young, former fashion model turned singer.  Their music is ethereal and filled with the ancient wanderings of old souls layered on top of an electric melody, the stories told by Kate’s unique and captivating voice.  Think Florence & The Machine, Annie Lennox and Portishead entwined in an inescapable weave of fantasy and fairytale.

How did Gallows Ghost come about, it is quite a change from modelling for Vivienne Westwood?

Gallows Ghost was formed by myself and Mako the guitarist when we started writing folk music together but we wanted to expand our sound and always had a bigger vision in our heads, and then some serious serendipity happened and we started to meet and gather the rest of the band members at various weird and wonderful events! Music and performing has always been my biggest passion so it felt a very natural step from my modelling days. I still madly love frocks and interesting photo shoots though…..

Tell us about the band, how did you meet?

Rachel (violin) had been a friend of mine for a long time, but we lost touch and randomly bumped into each other in a pub one day, we were introduced to Hannah (cello) on the off chance by a mutual friend. We played one rehearsal with them and knew something special was happening. Electronic and bass maestro Lewis was a friend of a girl our manager went on one date with and mentioned she knew a great musician, so he then joined! and Jack (drummer) we spotted playing various pots and pans at a house party and when we heard him we wanted to snap him right up. It feels so magical when we all play as there is a total musical understanding between all of us, even though we all come from totally different musical backgrounds.

130826_Gallows_Ghost 3553I love your sound, it has a melancholy about it, haunting yet deeply inviting with threads of a ancient world coming through.  How did the sound develop?

Thanks! I’ve always been into dark music and dark everything actually! I’m not a sad or down person but I am drawn to the melancholic side of things and that certainly comes through in our music and lyrics.  I grew up reading gothic literature and ghost stories by MR James and Edgar Allen Poe and listening to folk music (which generally is all about death and despair!! ha!). I think I probably live in a pagan medieval world in my head most days and am obsessed with the strange melodies they used to create so that may account for the ancient sounds coming through! Our sound has then developed further with all of us being into electronic music and wanting to layer those foundations with beats and dance based sounds to compliment the guitars and strings. Very glad you are liking it so far! There is lots more still we want to do.

Who influences you?

We have so many influences…..My favorite singers range from Sandy Denny and Annie Briggs to Robert Plant, Doug Pinnick, Layne Stayley and Chris Cornell. We love our folk, metal, grunge and loads of stuff in between! We are also very influenced by visionaries like Massive Attack and Portishead and newer electronic acts like Maya Jane Coles and Moderat. I guess that every member of the band has a real wealth of music they adore and that ultimately influences our sound.

It must have been an incredible experience, modelling for such an amazing designer.  Can you tell us more about your modelling career?

I was so, so lucky to have been shot and styled in some incredible garments for shoots, and I love Vivienne Westwood so that was totally amazing. However I always knew deep down, although being a huge lover of fashion, it was always a means to an end for me and music would always win out.

Do you have a favourite designer?

It’s has got to be McQueen! Everything he designed and everything Sarah Burton brings to the brand now has elements of all the things I am drawn to. The clothes are wild, bold, fierce and have elements of nature and gothic roots. They are theatrical and historical as well as being so modern and beautiful. He really was a genius and dressed woman to flaunt every aspect of their being and Sarah is continuing to carry that torch in spectacular fashion.

What is your must have beauty product?

Almond oil. I use it to cleanse my face and take off my eye make up every night. It’s inexpensive, natural and so nourishing for your skin. It’s also a great base for any essential oils if you want to get earthy with yourself and make your own body oil!

Tell us about your EP.

We made the Arrows EP with the amazing Chris Goulstone at the helm for production. This was such a privilege as he works with Alison Goldfrapp and also Mushroom from Massive Attack and was a big part of the Bristol Trip Hop scene so he really got into our sound and understood totally how to help us sculpt the tracks into what they are today. We are all really proud of it and love the fact that some people are finding it hard to put it into a box due to the influences being so diverse. We always wanted to try and make individual music while still honouring our idols.

What is next for Gallows Ghost?

We have been really excited about getting Arrows and the band out there and now we are, we just want to have the opportunity to keep making music and getting more things out into the world….A Glastonbury headline slot wouldn’t go amiss either! Maybe in a couple of years!

What is in your handbag?

Great question! I never go anywhere without my black moleskin diary, it has my whole life in there! People use their phones but I still really like a diary I can write in otherwise nothing sticks in my brain! My Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (which I use it religiously), my phone and some other great essentials…like keys…my Estee Lauder BB cream which is a great all round product, Bobbi Brown highlighter, Mac kohl eye pencil and Bare Minerals eyeshadows for when I’m on stage, Oh and my Urban Outfitters make up bag to keep it all in!!

About Author

Founder of Eclectic Enchantments blog, Erika has also been a beauty writer, fashion writer and Beauty & Accessories Editor for a large online magazine before starting Erisea. Erika lives with her dog, Hendrix and beautiful baby girl. She suffers with Fibromyalgia and CFS, among other illnesses which leaves her housebound much of the time. Her passion is writing.


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