Kate Boy Is Coming To Chicago — Get Out Your Ambient Socks!

There’s nothing more intriguing than a little mystery, which is why we’re hooked on electro-pop band Kate Boy. The group’s chanteuse, Kate Akhurst, sacrifices personal identity for a shadowy, unisex persona that doesn’t distract from the group’s dreamy tunes.
The quickly rising band is coming to Chicago on June 10, but before you catch a performance of “Northern Lights” live, see what Akhurst had to say about skin care, Sweden, and eating in Chicago.
You’ll be playing at Schuba’s Tavern on June 10. Should we bring our dancing shoes?
“We suggest you bring your dancing shoes and ambient socks. You can expect to hear some new songs that we haven't released yet. We have been working on our live set to expand across the spectrum of more ambient sounds to the higher energy, more electronic element of our music.”
Do you enjoy playing intimate venues like Schuba’s, or do you prefer playing the larger festivals?
“Both are cool for different reasons. We like playing the intimate venues because you are closer with the audience and get to speak to people after the show. Whereas with festivals, you usually have barriers between the stage and audience, and the backstage areas are where you tend to spend most of your time. We like to be able to connect with people, so Shuba's sounds like it's going to be perfect for us!”
Summer is the best time to come to Chicago! What’s on your list of things to do while you’re in town?
“EAT! We are so excited to try some of the amazing restaurants we've heard Chicago is famous for. It'll be our first time there so we are dying to try classic deep-dish pizza, Chicago style. Please send your food tips to foodtips@kateboy.com!”
And, if we had one day to spend in your hometown, what would you recommend we do?
“In Stockholm for a day, you should definitely get a 'Strömmingsrulle' at Slussen, and the hop on the ferry to Djurgården. Have a walk around the island, make sure to visit Skansen and stop for 'fika' and a 'chokladboll'.” [Ed’s note: We’ll let you Google all that — or find out what it means when you land in Sweden!]
You travel a ton. Do you have any health and beauty tips for keeping hydrated, polished, and sane on the road?
“Don't party at every chance you get because you will definitely regret it at the airport in the morning. Basic rule is to do everything your mom told you to do as a child. She was right.”
As a musician, what or who most inspires you?
“We are very inspired by the electronic sounds from the ‘70s and ‘80s and how they would mix organic and electronic, almost robotic ingredients. Electronic music pioneers like Kraftwerk, Peter Gabriel, and Jean-Michel Jarre are very important components of the Kate Boy inspiration box. Also, a lot of inspiration comes from things other than music. Film is something we all share a big passion for. There's something about the concept that inspires us more maybe than specific sounds or words. That feeling when you enter a world and you want to stay there.”
When you’re performing, how does your fashion sense reflect your musical alter ego: Kate Boy?
“We are drawn to minimalist fashion that represents strength and androgyny. For our live show we designed our stage clothes with designer Jana Hipp to make something unique for us. We put just as much time and effort into all visual aspects of our band as we do creating the music, so it's really important for us to reflect Kate Boy in everything we do.”
How would you describe your style when you’re not performing?
“We always gravitate toward black and white, playing more with texture rather than color. We love clothes that can capture something unique yet still remain simplistic and minimal.”
Which songs are on your summer playlist?
1. King Crimson - "Waiting Man"
2. Talking Heads - "Crosseyed And Painless"
3. Cabaret Voltaire - "Do Right"
4. Kate Bush - "Waking The Witch"
5. Planningtorock - "Misogny Drop Dead"
6. Daft Punk - "Oh Yeah"
7. Jean Michel Jarre - "Zoolookologie"
8. Peter Gabriel - "This Is The Picture"
Kate Boy plays at Schuba’s Tavern on June 10. Must be 18 or over to attend. Tickets are $13.
Schuba’s, 3159 North Southport Avenue (at Belmont Avenue); 773-525-2508.

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