Meet: Kirsty & Sara both of who make up – The Pearl Harts

The East London rock duo The Pearl Harts just recently played their debut Irish shows and before the Dublin show Abigael Paquet got to have a chat back stage at The Workman’s Club Cellar with Kirsty Lowery (vocals and guitar), Sara Leigh (drums and backing vocals)

Words Abigael Paquet / Photos Ian Mc Donnell:

Abby: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your band for those who don’t know you ?

Kirsty: Yeah, we are The Pearl Harts. We are a two piece rock’n’roll duo from London. We play, sort of like garage blues inspired, kind of heavy pop rock. Now, I guess you could say it has taken a bit of a pop twist, but we love it.  We just released our second record on our own label, co-produced with Danio. But mainly produced by ourselves. Sara did a lot of the post production on it. So yeah, it’s our little baby, isn’t it? Good Love, Chaos.

Abby: And what can people actually expect from your shows ?

Sara: Lots of energy. 

Kirsty: Yeah, lots of noise. 

Sara: Yeah. Lots of noise [laughs]

Kirsty: Good noise. Heavy drums. A lot of energy, a lot of hair whipping. A lot of sweat – you saw the pants ? 


Sara: Yeah, they are a bit wrong. We kinda need one for every gig [laughs] because it has been so hot on this tour. Actually, the stages have been quite warm. 

Abby: So, do you do what Ross [from Friends] did ? Do you use baby powder ? 


Kirsty: Well, I just sprayed the inside of it with dry shampoo. And I’m really worried now that it’s going to turn to a paste on the stage, but I’ll report back to you afterwards.  

Sara: Starts foaming at the waste line, like a chemistry experiment.

Abby: ‘Note to myself, never do it again’ [laughs]

Kirsty: [laughs] Yeah, ‘Dry shampoo and sweat does not mix’.

Abby: And how would you convince people to listen to your music ?

Sara: I would say, put it on when you’re going on a nice long drive. Put it on when you’re doing a workout. Those are the kind of scenarios that would really, like get you into it. And we’ve got some gentle songs, so once you experience this sort of more energetic vibe that we are  – which is basically what most of our music is like – then there’s some more gentle songs which you can be introduced to as well.

Kirsty: I would say as well, this album – you’ve mentioned it before –  has a hint of nostalgia to it. And so, I think that there’s quite like a nod to that at the moment, isn’t there ? I guess you always see something that you were involved in, regurgitating back in fashion or like, you know, the new trends. And there’s a nostalgia to our music, you know, with two girls; we kind of see ourselves as a bit like runaway sort of thing. We just go hand in hand and we just go off and do it. And I think that that can be quite inspiring for young girls as well who are listening, who don’t really know that much about the rock world or the alternative world. 

Sara: There certainly has been a massive resurgence and especially with women that are doing it. Which is awesome ! And also, when we first started out, there’d already been like some women who’d done like guitar music. So we were like: “Oh, well that band already does that” and then we were like: “well, we can do that too !” There’s been loads of like, four piece male bands that have like … [laughs] you know what I mean ?
So yeah, I think it’s nice that there’s definitely a resurgence in this style of music, but also with women that play in it because it’s making a kind of a collective of people that are all working towards the same goal. And it’s kind of more inclusive.

Abby: And so, your new album came out recently. How did the public respond to it ? 

Kirsty: I think it’s gone really well, isn’t it ? It really shows for sure.

Sara: Yeah.  It’s hard to tell like, when everything’s online – I mean, people respond and are excited. And it was on the radio; like quite a few of our tracks – singles leading up to it, but the shows have been all busy.

Kirsty: They’ve been really busy. 

Sara: Yeah, they pretty much have been sold out, or close to sold out, so … And obviously, this is our first time in Dublin. But it seems the ticket sales have done pretty well, considering we’ve never been here before and nobody knows who we are. 

Kirsty: Yeah, absolutely. We were surprised to find out how well we’ve done tonight. 

Sara: Yeah, so it’s just like starting off. But, you know, I think it’s been really good. Because it’s hard to tell sometimes, to gauge … 

Abby: Internet is a different world, isn’t it ?

Both: Yeah !

Kirsty: It is ! Because people will like and then that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll show up to a show. So it’s definitely been really heartwarming. A couple of shows that we didn’t expect really much response from, we’ve had a really great response, so … It just gives you a nice boost as well to know that your hard work is paying off.  And it seems like –  like Sarah was saying – the album has had a good response  press wise and radio wise and this definitely helped. And we’ve had this band called Hotwax supporting us on the whole tour, and they’re fantastic. They’re young girls, and a guy on drums. They’re so good !

Sara: They’ve been playing since they were like 12 and they’re like 18 now. They spent those sort of formative years playing music together.

Kirsty: It just runs through their veins., you can tell. And they’re so lovely. They’ve just been really fun to tour with and you can tell that people are keen on them. 

Abby: Could you tell us a little bit about the new album, and how does it compare to your previous work ? 

Sara: I’d say probably most of it was written during Covid. We had some ideas and stuff. But we started writing tracks and sent them back and forth to each other, even before Covid. And then, yeah, we just did it. We just like, worked on it, wrote a bit, sent it to the other one, wrote it, sent it back. Which we’ve never done before, because we used to just hash everything out in the room. 

Abby: And so, did you like it better that way, or not ?

Kirsty: It was definitely a new way of writing. And because it was during Covid, there was a lot of space. It was quite interesting to have Sara send something back and then, you have this space to work on it privately, intimately with yourself. Even though I think there is something to be said about like, making mistakes and other people because sometimes even if it’s not a mistake, someone’s gonna be like: “that was really good, we should keep that”. You don’t want them to be able to affect your ideas too much.

Sara: You just kind of edit it a bit, and then you become attached to the idea of putting it out there. And then it’s like: “oh, no, I want to keep it like this.” 

Kirsty: But yeah, it’s definitely good to do a bit of both, where we can write individually, but then also put it together. It was really fun to get together in the rehearsal room to make the songs become how they should be. It was a really fun process actually. It was good when we were finally able to get back together. It felt really special. 

Abby: So, did you just write lyrics during Covid or the music as well ?

Kirsty: No, we did music as well, Sara used a recording software. And then Sara would send me drum parts and melodies that she’d written and then she’d have some lyrics. And then we’d add it on and like, put some guitar on it and then send it back. 

Abby: Okey, so you both write lyrics and music ?

Kirsty: Yeah, yeah. There’s some songs that Sara has written guitar parts on as well. Yeah, multi instrumentalist [laughs]

Abby: So many different talents !


Sara:I think in the end I really enjoyed doing the album this way, but, and like learning all the production and things like that, and I think it made better songs,.But I think there could be a balance, like how we wrote before and how we wrote this time and mash them together. 

Abby: What’s your favourite song of the album ?

Kirsty: Oooh, that’s a hard one ! 

Sara: Can I pick two ? [laughs]

Kirsty: Yeah, I want to pick two. I think it’s probably More and Coming Down.

Sara: Mine’s Baby Chaos and Coming Down

Kirsty: Is it ?!! 

Sara: I mean, there’s so many I mean, I really like Wild Me as well.

Kirsty: Oh fuck yeah, Wild Me !! Ughhh there’s so many !

Sara: I think I like Baby Chaos because that sets the tone, it’s the first track on the album. And then Coming Down is at the end of the album. It kind of summarises the album.

Abby: Now, fun question to ask: What’s your least favourite song that you’ve ever written ?

Sara: Oh, there is a song. Actually okay. There’s a good song but an awful video. Which may be possibly found on the internet.  But I think all songs will serve a purpose. Even if they’re a bit rubbish. But yeah, there’s definitely a risk in music videos. Because when you don’t have a budget, and you just get lost in ideas, and then you do it and then you watch it back … And it’s like watching a home video of you as a child .

Sara: There is one song … I love the verses of it. I just don’t like the chorus. 

Kirsty: Which one’s that ? 

Sara: Bless you.

Kirsty: Ohh, I agree ! Oh my god, I totally agree !

Sara:  Like, it’s just like: “Oh, I’ve got this chorus. Oh, let’s stick it on.” And then casually put some lyrics on and like that song. I’m just like: “What even is that song ?” [laughs]

Kirsty: But also, people change. And your taste changes as well. So, what was cool to you 10 years ago mightn’t be anymore. We’re gonna look back on this: “That was our chaos crazy Covid phase, where we felt mental.”

Abby: What were you looking forward to the most about playing here in Ireland ?

Kirsty: I think the people actually, I’m really excited. I’ve only ever been to Dublin once and it was like 10 years ago and I had the best time. And I have some Irish friends and they were all saying that we’d have a great time. Yeah, everyone’s really friendly. I’m just really excited to see what the crowd are like, we were excited to play this venue. We’ve heard about this venue before. So we knew that it was going to be a cool venue. And I think from the moment we’ve walked in, all the team or the crew, everyone’s been really nice. And also, the booze afterwards. 


Abby: And what was your worst moment on stage ?

Kirsty: We did a show in London, like a secret show of sorts, you know, just a small venue show. And my pedal blew up but I’d left it on the soundcheck which is 10 times out of 10 fine; just this one time and then we went on and we played our intro track and then the lights all dimmed and basically loads of fans ran down to the local shops and got us loads of nine volt batteries for the pedal board and it was so sweet, wasn’t it ? We managed to get it sorted in the end, but Jesus Christ !

Sara: Oh, or it didn’t happen on stage but we did our first European tour and we had all of our equipment stolen from our van. 

Kirsty: Yeah, we did one show in Belgium and we were due to play Germany the next day. And we drove for hours. 

Sara: We had a couple of days off in Germany.

Kirsty: Yeah, we went out and partied a bit. And then we trotted back to our van the next morning, didn’t we ?

Sara: Yeah. And it was all gone. 

Kirsty: Yeah, I just opened the back and went: where’s all the gears ?” 

Sara: [laughs] And I was like: “Oh, don’t be silly, I’m sure it’s in here ! Let me have a look, of course it’s in there !”

Abby: And what did you do then ?

Kirsty: We cried first, for a little while.

Sara: We got into some sort of like, survival mode. And then we went to a police station. And then we were supposed to be staying another night at this place we were staying every day and I was like: “we’re not staying here !” So, like I managed to book somewhere that was on the way to the Berlin show. 

Abby: That would be a lot of expensive stuff as well, though !

Kirsty: Oh, yeah. It was like 10 grand. Yeah, easily. And stuff that was like really … 

Sara: Sentimental.

Kirsty: Yeah. Like my very first amplifiers. And they stole our merch ! I hope someone is getting it from a charity shop … 

Abby: Doubtful … But you never know ! Now, what’s your favourite insult ? 

Kirsty: There is an insult that I like, you [Sara] say it a lot, but I can’t remember what it is … It’s like: “You’re so dense.”


Sara: I don’t say that ! [laughs]

Kirsty: What is your favourite, so ? 

Sara: I don’t know. 

Kirsty: Rotter. “You absolute Rotter”.

Sara: I’ve never said that [laughs]

Kirsty: Oh absolutely ! 


Sara: I’d say rotten. Ohh, I don’t know what my favourite insult would be … I think asking people if they’re thick.

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