A decent proposal leads to Pompey band Kill Kasper’s Victorious return

The last time Kill Kasper played Victorious Festival in 2014 it unintentionally became the last time the band played anywhere – until now.

The Portsmouth-based band was riding high after ‘Kolonel’ Jamie Kasper proposed to his then-girlfriend and now wife Emma on stage during the group’s set.

The reformed Kill Kasper, with frontman Jamie Kasper centre, who will play at Victorious Festival 2018

The reformed Kill Kasper, with frontman Jamie Kasper centre, who will play at Victorious Festival 2018

‘That was the most scared I’ve ever been at a gig in my life,’ he recalls. ‘I’m usually good with crowds, but the day I proposed I was terrified. I was worried that she might say no, but as a mate later said, if she had, I would have been the most eligible bachelor at the festival!’

But shortly after the indie-rockers disintegrated, leaving the frontman with a nagging sense of unfinished business.

Now they’re back, and playing on the Seaside Stage tomorrow.

‘I never really stopped writing music, I always carried on,’ Jamie tells The Guide. ‘Kill Kasper seemed to split up every time a member left, but I’m just stubborn.

Jamie Kasper, frontman of Kill Kasper, celebrating a successful proposal on stage during the band's set at Victorious Festival, 2014

Jamie Kasper, frontman of Kill Kasper, celebrating a successful proposal on stage during the band's set at Victorious Festival, 2014

‘I did try to quit myself, but I ended up writing more songs than I’d ever written. I played them for a few people and they said: “They’re brilliant, you can’t just sit on them”. I mean, they’re not brilliant, but they’re good enough for me. So I got another team together, and we’ve been getting together whenever we can over the last four years.

‘I’ve written pretty much every song we’ve played anyway, it’s always been a vehicle for my music. I have matured and I have mellowed a bit but it’s still angry - I come home from work and if something’s wound me up, I’ll pick up my guitar and that’s how my songs come out. I don’t really do happy.’

The band formed in 2005 and have been through numerous line-up changes, winning a Guide Award for Best Band along the way back in 2009. But now Jamie is hoping to fulfil his long-held ambition to put out an album.

‘The last time we split up wasn’t exactly fun. It felt like it stopped me in my prime. I had six or seven songs recorded, and I was trying to crank it up towards an album – I’ve been trying to do that for about 13 years now! But every time we were getting somewhere, someone would leave and it would go to pot.’

While Jamie hadn’t planned to play live again, he was made an offer he couldn’t refuse.

‘This time around we had no plans at all to do any gigs - the plan was to record an album get it all down and done. I’m 42 now, my days of chasing the local scene and running after girls are done – specially now I’m married, so I’m not as fussed about playing live, but I love Victorious. I couldn’t turn that down.

‘Nick Courtney who puts on the bands at the festival is a mate of ours anyway, he knows what we’d been doing and what we’d been up to. He said do you want to play? We had two months notice. I was away for two weeks of that, the drummer was away for another two weeks, and our guitarist was away for a week, so we’ve had about six practices and we’re going to wing it!’ 

Joining Jamie in the band is Steve James Morris, formerly of Pompey’s legendary rockers The Good Time Charlies on drums; Alex Davis, whose first gig with Jamie was singing Morning Has Broken aged nine at Devonshire First School, on bass; Calum Robertson, nabbed from a Pink Floyd tribute act on lead and newcomer James Tier on guitars.

‘When I was looking for a bass player, Al has been to pretty much every Kill Kasper gig ever, so it was kind of a no-brainer. He knows the songs, he knows what I’m like, so the chances of us falling out are slim.’

KILL KASPER

Victorious Festival, Seaside Stage

Saturday, August, 25, 1.15pm

visitportsmouth.co.uk