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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

A Summer Punch Up at Sutton House: Kotki Dwa Staycations Album Launch Party Review

The new Staycations album from Kotki Dwa was launched on Saturday 14th July with A Summer Punch Up at Hackney's Sutton House.

Written by Abi Renshaw

Kotki Dwa Staycations CD bundle by Sam Glynn
Kotki Dwa Staycations CD bundle by Sam Glynn

Staycations. A word us Brits are getting more and more used to: when the sun shines, there is honestly just no place like home. Great Britain has been the centre of attention this summer. After all, if it’s good enough for world record holders and a Queen, it’s good enough for us. The beautiful rolling green hills, still blues lakes and near-empty endless beaches. We’re spoilt for these spots, everywhere. So why not celebrate them? Forget the rain and embrace our terrain right? Right. Amelia’s Magazine music favourites, Kotki Dwa, well and truly do. So much so, Staycations is the title of their follow-up album. But wait… Here comes a very interesting tale.

While fans sat patiently waiting for second record news, the boys Alex, Tom and Tristan, were hatching quite the plan. An idea long in the making, came true this summer on 2nd July, the release date of the album. And this plan? To ask the National Trust to be their record label. They gave a firm yes!

Kotki Dwa Cakes by Abi Renshaw
Kotki Dwa rice paper printed jam cupcakes by Abi Renshaw

So we’ve all been to a National Trust property right? Yes? Well there are over two hundred historic houses open to the public. Your folks probably took you to an endless amount as a kid. Visiting these properties seemed like a staple part of growing up. Now I’ve hopefully got you reminiscing, it’s filled you with fond memories hasn’t it. The pristine gardens (with a maze if you were lucky), the delicious dairy ice cream from the café, the views from high above. Kotki Dwa thought the same. Dreamt up by the boys, which must feel like an awfully long time ago now, was this rather genius idea. Once they secured the all-important ‘yes’, the possibilities became endless. They knew exactly that this would open all kinds of (historic and stately) doors – to be inspired by, write about and record in.

A Summer Punch Up on Saturday 14th July was their big night. The album was out there, glowing reviews were flowing from Pitchfork, the Guardian and the BBC. This launch party was set to go off. Plus, the venue was quite special in it’s own right. Many ran through the doors bang on 7pm into Sutton House, Hackney’s oldest house and a National Trust gem. So much so, Alex spilled they wrote a track based on its ghost. Buried deep in Homerton, 80 lucky people got to party in this property, built in 1535 by a prominent courtier of Henry VIII. WOW. The Summer (it was raining) Punch Up started with the twilight punch picnic.

Cucumber triangle sandwiches, scotch eggs, jam filled cupcakes with their Polish name on rice paper (lovely touch and too pretty to eat) and flower cakes fashioned in plant pots with Oreo ‘soil’. Delicious.

Kotki Dwa Summer Punch by Edie OP
The Summer Punch Up cocktails menu by Edie OP

They even had themed cocktails after three of their songs. Outside in the bunting-filled courtyard was an ice cream cart. Pay a donation for a scrummy pot of Taywell and cover it in their home-made Pimms syrup. Yeah!

Supporting Kotki Dwa were two fantastic bands, Glaciers and Niteflights. Each surrounded by Kotki Dwa’s British holiday themed set of picnic hampers, hay bales and a snorkel. Once the twilight picnic had gone down and the dancing to both bands over, it was to be their finest hour. The first quarter of the hall filled with the 80 strong crowd. I’m pretty small in height so was pleased with my wing position right by the grand piano, oohhh. The room was beautiful, with its red walls and high beams. Sticking to songs solely from Staycations, you could just see it in their faces, how happy they were they’d got to here. The idea had become an album, and it was rattling that ghost upstairs no doubt. I very much enjoyed the heavily loud instrumental ending of The Wolf, and the single Poison required some serious dancing. The absolute highlight for me was during the song Staycations. A girl dressed in a crab costume was throwing beach balls into the crowd to lyrics such as ‘you la la like it when we go away’ and ‘didn’t I read that sunshine repairs your sanity’. A fantastic night ending with a disco hosted by DJs Midnight A-Go-Go and NZCA/LINES.

Kotki Dwa King Crab by Dan Morison
King Crab by Dan Morison

Oh to re-live that night all over again, yes please! I did the next best thing, I quizzed singer Alex about how they bagged the National Trust as their label and where you can see them play live this summer: read my interview with Alex Ostrowski here.

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