THE BAND of merry singers known as Erin K. & Tash could be likened to a number of different artists, present and past. This ‘review’ could be written to present those juxtapositions in an orderly and informative fashion, yet you will find none of those things in this here summation, dearest reader.
They are performing at the Book Club on Old Street for the pub’s monthly ‘Come Get Felt Up’ gig night. They sing songs about the virtues of orgiastic and no-strings-attached sex; they mock small penis’ and play dirge’s for fallen Macbooks and they’ll laugh at your manhood again if you give them the chance. If anything, their sound is experimental—a mix of modern folk and simple, well-harmonized coffee shop instruments with their lyrics maintaining the stream-of-consciousness style any beatnik would enjoy. Its an odd combination coming from such arrestingly beautiful girls, but that’s what makes it work.
Erin K. is an expatriate Texan living in a flat in Convent Garden, with Tash sleeping on the famous green couch that lends itself to the girl’s ‘Green Couch Productions’ moniker. Her accent is certifiably American but lacking in any discernible harshness usually associated with residents of The Lone Star State. She is of the rare cute/hot blend – the kind of girl that terrifies the insecure ones with her I-could-care-less, drop-jawed beauty. She’s wearing a billowy white linen dress that comes down to her knees and makes you look twice when the wind blows it against her body. She sings with a well-practiced air of ease and is helped out tremendously whenever the band begins to harmonize the lyrics.
Where any man would be more than proud to take Erin home to their mother, Tash is the kind of girl a man would brag about to his friends in a fit to induce jealousy. She is the darker siren, ‘mysterious’-looking by the quick to judge but far more approachable than the ‘FUCK OFF’ sign her friends say she has stamped on her forehead. She wears skinny and well-worn jeans that hang loose off her bum and somewhere along the line got it in her head that she is not a ‘classic beauty’ – told to me off any record but I feel obligated to tell you, reader, because of the accidental hilarity of her self-deprecating description. She listens intently with a cold purse to her lips, almost scowling, but burns you when she smiles—looking at you with two beauty marks placed perfectly on her cheek and chin, smiling a childish and toothy smile that will haunt you with perverted pleasure in dreams to come. She may not be a ‘classic beauty’, but there aren’t many of said ‘beauties’ that look that deadly with a guitar in their hands.
We are standing outside in a recessed doorway, around the corner from the screams and yelps of smokers loitering outside the club’s entrance. Its raining, as London tends to enjoy itself. Erin and Tash finished their gig some time ago and are visibly buzzing; downright excited, either from the drink or the adrenal-high you get after putting in a good performance for an appreciative/drunk audience. They hold themselves with an air of recherché unimportance, an even rarer trait considering the Miles Davis kind of Cool they have unaffectedly mastered. They laugh easily at each-other and every time they tell a supposedly embarrassing story they laugh even harder. When they speak, they speak frankly, taking the conversation on random, dirty-road tangents — as if they know exactly what it is that proverbially ‘turns you on.’ While suit-clad yuppies fight for limited carriage space on the underground line towards careers that promise health-care and a steady income, these girls are fighting to get off that carriage and onto some Paul Butterfield inspired Mystery Train bound for a world where the words ‘economic downturn’ and ‘credit freeze’ are nonexistent and Hendrix is worshiped in cathedrals. Its a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world… except for Erin K. & Tash.
I had never heard of the band before a friend invited me to their gig. Not knowing a thing about them, I turned to the audience, who were undoubtedly more informed of these two sirens than I.
I asked the neo-hippie crowd to write down a single question for me to ask Erin and Tash. The following transcript is their word-for-word response.
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS WITH ERIN K. & TASH
WCS: “You can answer these questions as honestly or as dishonestly as you want.”
ERIN K: “It’s fine. I’m a very honest person.”
WCS: “Fantastic. The first question is from Anita. She asks, ‘Would you have a threesome with Cooper?’”
ERIN K: “Yes.”
- pause -
ERIN K: “Fuck yeah, actually. Fuck yeah.”
- pause -
WCS: “Brill… Brilliant. Question two: ‘Do you like cheese?’”
ERIN K: “I fucking love cheese.”
I turn to Tash.
TASH: “Yes and yes.”
WCS: “Just to be clear, that is ‘yes’ to a threesome with Cooper and ‘yes’, you like cheese.”
TASH: “Yes to the threesome and of course, I love cheese.”
ERIN K: “She’s Dutch.”
WCS: “So I hear… James wants to know: ‘Who is the best musician/fuck buddy?’”
ERIN K: “Within the band?”
ERIN K: “Well, Tash, obviously.”
I look at Tash and get no response besides a cheeky grin.
WCS: “Arun asks: ‘Where do you get inspiration for your lyrics?’”
ERIN K: “From the things in my life. Like this song I wrote called ‘I Just Ate Shit’, it was because I was just served something that tasted like dog shit—smelled like dog shit.
WCS: “Where was that?”
ERIN K: “That was at a restaurant on the King’s Road. I can’t give you the name.”
WCS: “Why not?”
ERIN K: “Because that would be—“
TASH: “Over Eight!”
WCS: “Its just an opinion.”
ERIN K: “I can’t! My father’s a lawyer, he told me not to.”
TASH: “I studied law!”
ERIN K: “Wha—Oh! She’s a lawyer too! We have a lawyer in our midst’s!”
TASH: “Yeah I just graduated this year. It’s ‘Over Eight’, on the King’s Road.”
ERIN K: “Oh my God! Don’t do that!”
TASH: “No, it doesn’t exist anymore, it burned down. Don’t worry about it.”
WCS: “Moving on… Mark wants to know: ‘Where did your inspiration for the song about a chode come from?’ Who has actually seen a chode?”
They look at each-other. Erin points at Tash.
ERIN K: “She’s the one that’s seen it.”
TASH: “Erm, no.”
ERIN K. “Erm, yes!”
TASH: “Well… not exactly.”
ERIN K: “Shuddup! Tell him the story!”
TASH: “Well… its about a small dick, I guess.”
Erin K. turns to me determinedly,
ERIN K: “No-no-no, a chode is a dick that is wider than it is long.”
TASH: “Yeah—but its not like they exist in real life. At least I don’t think they do. I mean… I can’t imagine one.”
WCS: “No, probably not. Unless you’re a really fat midget.”
TASH: “I’ve never seen a chode.”
ERIN K: “She has.”
TASH: “Nope, it was only a really small penis.”
WCS: “Do you have something against small penis’?”
TASH: “No… I—“
ERIN K: “Yes we do! And she has seen a chode.”
TASH: “No, honestly, I’ve—“
WCS: “—For the sake of the interview?”
She leans into the microphone
TASH: “I’ve seen a chode! – It was gross and I wrote a song about it.”
Their stage presence, though superficially loose, comes along with well-practiced ease — laughing in between songs and entertaining the audience’s whoops and hollers with a smile. They play without any sense of entitlement, only with what can be simply described as joy. They love being there and, in turn, you love them for it.
In listening to them, you receive an instant shot of familiar/empathetic understanding. They’re real people who have lived and loved (each-other, on occasion), gone places, screwed up, been screwed, won and lost battles across the no-man’s-land of emerging adulthood and survived it all to sing and play together on a green couch — poetic manifestations of the scuppered ship today’s creative youth are forced to toil on with little-to-no prospect of ever finding solace.
They have day jobs — to pay the bills and as career backups, should their dream of playing music forever fail — but I will confide in you now, reader, I sure hope they don’t have those jobs for much longer. The world may be in a weird and decrepit state right now, in the midst’s of a transition that will gradually hand it over to the usurping youth, but I’d find a healthy dose of calm knowing somewhere in the world Erin K. & Tash are together on a green couch, laughing and singing about how small your penis is.Tags: Erin K and Tash