Last summer, before a 3-day weekender, Danish instrumental rockers Town Portal and Oakland, California’s Kowloon Walled City teamed up to perform two cover songs in Brighton, England. The collaboration went down at Green Door Store studios and was documented by the Small Pond recording studios crew. Small Pond are a unique recording studio because, among other things, they offer filming and photography for the bands who record there.
Kowloon Walled City’s frontman Scott Evans says that although “it’s taken forever to find time to mix & edit the video,” they’ve decided on “releasing it now to help out our friends at Small Pond.” Scott continues: “They filmed and recorded this video collab. They run a great label and recording/practice space in Brighton, which is of course currently closed. There’s a GoFundMe raising funds to keep them afloat.”
Regarding the video itself, Scott says:“Since we were playing three UK shows with Town Portal last year, we thought it would be cool to collaborate on something. I think the priginal idea was to record one song with two full bands playing together, then it turned into doing two songs, then a video collab with Small Pond, then the two songs straight through. We didn’t really decide what to do, but eventually each band picked a song they loved, played with some ideas, and a few weeks later we were in England. We met up at a house in Bristol (thanks to our friends and tourmates Wren for hooking this up), sat in the living room with no drums or amps, and arranged everything. The next day we set up at the Brighton venue with the Small Pond team handling video & audio, practiced a few times, then pressed record.”
“I have a soft spot for covers, having discovered a lot of music through my favourite artists covering their favourite music,” says Christian Ankerstjerne, Town Portal’s guitarist. “I gravitate towards covers where the musical transformation is quite radical. We have been listening heavily to Solange’s albums and decided that it would be a cool challenge to see if we could rearrange one of her songs. Considering how Solange’s voice and lyrics are really central to her music and message, we were a bit unsure if we could pull off an instrumental cover. But it ended up being super fun to unpack the compositions and zoom in on the cool melodies and layers, then put them back together. Kowloon Walled City picked a song by Kaki King, who coincidentally is an artist I love and have listened to a lot. The plan was to perform two separate covers, but once we started playing everything seemed to be in the same key and tempo, so we ended up spontaneously merging the two songs into one piece and performing the whole thing as one big group. It was a special experience and we hope it translates in the video.”
Town Portal & Kowloon Walled City