An Interview With Cattle & Cane

Cattle & Cane are a real family affair, with several members of the prodigious Hammill brood involved – Joe Hammill provides guitar and lead vocals alongside his sister Helen who adds an extra layer of lead vocals and keys. Fran Hammill brings powerful dynamism on electric guitar and backing vocals whilst Tom (the non-family member) and Vinny Hammill constitute the backline with drums and bass guitar.

To promote their latest single - Pull Down The Moon, the North Eastern group are touring with the Beetles inspired band Goldheart Assembly across the country. We went along to their first gig at The Cluny in Newcastle, a small venue huddled inside a section of an old whiskey bottling plant in the Ouseburn Valley.

Mid-set came the song we were waiting for, Pull Down The Moon, sounding just as good as the recording below with it's catchy tune that's sure to stick in your head. The last song of their set is a favourite of mine and you can't help but stamp your feet to the heavy baseline provided by Tom on the drums, 'The Poacher' always gets a crowd going and can also be found on SoundCloud.

After the gig we caught up with Helen to ask a few questions about music, life and gigging...

What inspired you to become a band at the start?
We wanted to avoid having a 'proper' job

What was your first big break as a band?
Probably recently when we played BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park... that was pretty special for us. And when Joe went to Nashville song-writing with American and UK writers including Artful Dodger, that was really exciting.

How's life on the road with your siblings?
Apart from the bullying, teasing and tormenting it's amazing

What was your inspiration for writing Pull Down The Moon?
The Christmas film 'It's a Wonderful Life'. We watch the film on Christmas Eve every year and the song is inspired by the scene where George Bailey offers to lasso the moon for Mary. Watch out for our upcoming video

Are you enjoying supporting Goldheart Assembly? And who would be your dream act to support?
Yeah we love being out on the road and it's great to share that experience with such an amazing band. We would love to support someone like Bon Iver

What are you hoping to achieve in the future with your music career?
We would really love it to be our full time job, that would be enough for us.