I was sad to hear that one of Brighton’s finest bands, Doll and the Kicks, had split up recently. A band that slogged their guts out to get signed but finally called it a day to pursue other projects. That’s the short story and it’s a familiar one for so many up and coming bands in this country but it was so much more than that.

I first came across DATK at one of those god-awful ‘Battle of the Bands’ at the Walkabouts in Brighton, probably about six years ago now. I was hosting and they were competing. I noticed the singer as soon as I got there to prepare. Striking and unconventionally beautiful (that’s meant as a compliment Hannah, if you’re reading this), she stood out amongst the normal ‘clientele’ of a West Street bar. At that point she was hanging out with her mates looking cool (unusual in the Walkabouts) and then she got up and sang. All I remember at that point, was the whole pub stopping talking, looking up too see THAT girl and hear THAT voice. It was a memorable moment and I knew there and then, that the band was going to go to bigger and better things. (Let’s face it, after the Walkabouts, the only way is up).

They slogged it out in Brighton for a while, cementing their place in the local scene whilst picking up a decent following. They then started spreading their wings and touring up and down the country and more importantly playing London. It was here that Morrissey, no less, popped in on a recommendation and like everybody else that stumbled across the band, saw the potential and invited them to tour with him across Europe and the UK.

Doll and the Kicks; quite leggy.

It was make or break for the band at that point and although they met all the right people and their fan base grew to a point where they could consider selling records, that elusive record deal remained just that. They continued a little while longer, getting national airplay and all the right endorsements but it wasn’t to be.

I’m proud to say I was the first person to play them on the radio and I enjoyed a many a long night hanging out with them and supporting them on their seemingly unstoppable rise. I knew it was going to be tough but there’s only so much a band can do, before they throw in the towel and they’ve obviously made the decision that that time is now.

In an age where Jedward can be considered a ‘pop act,’ it’s a tragedy that bands like DATK and so many more up and down the country, will never have the exposure and the platform to really showcase what British music is in this country.

They’ll go on and do great things, whatever they decide to do but for now, thanks for the memories DATK, you really were quite special.

I’m going to leave with you with what I consider their finest song. Enjoy: