Album Review

Kimberley Rew & Lee Cave-Berry – Purple Kittens: Album Review

Purple Kittens is the classy new album packed with quality songs from the duo of Kimberley Rew and Lee Cave-Berry

Release date: 18th June 2021

Label: KL Recordings

Format: CD / digital

The terms ‘underappreciated’ and ‘unsung hero’ go hand in hand with Kimberley Rew. You might know the songs but not the name. Maybe both but not yet made the link. Along with songwriters like Boo Hewerdine, he’s a contender for the accolade of being the ultimate unsung hero.

So aside from associations with The Soft Boys and Katrina & The Waves (yes…Walking On Sunshine…) Kimberley Rew and his own musical and life partner, Lee Cave-Berry have a veritable musical treasure chest of their own. One that now extends to sixteen twenty-first century albums.

Another treasure chest packed with musical wealth pours from Purple Kittens. Ten more Rew tunes accompany two covers via Robyn Hitchcock’s Soft Boys’ song Kingdom Of Love and a lovely little number – Black Ribbon – written by 6 and 8-year-old Jonah and Rueben Smith (grandsons of Roger Smith of Jack who passed away in 2020). The latter is given a fiery and rocky treatment and carries a fine tribute; the former is more than just a reminder of the Rew heritage.

On the surface, these are exceptional songs, showcased in a variety of styles from Folk Rock to whimsical and galloping Rock & Roll and R’n’B. Dig deeper and you’ll find a trove of inspirations and stories. Even when Lee Cave-Berry steps into the spotlight early doors on I Can Be Any Woman, there’s the easy acoustic groove (with a Star Trek reference for those who delve deep…). Daytime Night Time even sounds like the start of a Beans On Toast song.

Clever lyrics, a knack for an easy melody and regularly turning out albums that barely contain a duff note, let alone a duff track. What Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness (on their The Album Years podcast) would call a ‘no risk disc’. Satisfaction guaranteed and in the name of the old bootleg label (TMOQ) you can be guaranteed the Rew/Cave-Berry combo assures a trademark of quality. High praise and I still feel I’m not doing the record justice.

Any aspiring musicians who need a lesson in ‘how to do things’, Purple Kittens is an album for (in the words of the maestro) the younger generation coming along. And even better, it all sounds incredibly good fun.

Check our review of Sunshine Walkers – their ‘Best Of’ album from 2020 here.

Here’s just one of the highlights – Growing Up Song – which we premiered back in April:

Kimberley Rew online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Kim & Lee online

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