Former Violet Violet Drummer, Fliss, Takes on the Nightingales

violetViolet_ Fliss_ tom tom magazine_ female drummerName: Fliss

Lives in: Norwich, UK

Current bands: The Nightingales. The Broken Seas

Past bands:Violet Violet

Day job: Museum Guide/ Bartender/ Taxidermist & Artist

The thunderous drumming of Felicity Kitson, better known as Fliss, has propelled the sound of British band Violet Violet for the past several years. Her newest endeavors include touring with famed post-punk band the Nightingales and playing with the female-fronted blues/rock band The Broken Seas. Tom Tom caught up with the busy percussionist to ask her a few of the basics.

violetViolet_ fliss_ tom tom magazine_ female drummer

Was there a specific person or situation that prompted you to start playing drums?
I became a drummer when I was 15 years old at my Middle School… mainly due to starting a “band” and wanting to be the drummer. I had lessons from the age of 16-20 and throughout I would take in music of drummers I wanted to play like – mainly Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney. I also adored Palmolive, of Slits fame .

In your old band, Violet Violet, you sang a lot. Tell me a little about VV and about songwriting and singing from behind the kit.
Violet Violet was my first band but we lasted around 6-7 years progressing and changing in many ways along the years. The best and most successful time of our existence was when we became a two-piece in our last year. Me and Cheri (guitarist) would write everything together, and share lead vocals. Singing and drumming came quite naturally to me. In my new band I’m not the singer so I get to concentrate on my technique and play around with more challenging patterns.

Nightingales-Greatest Woman Drummer Tom Tom Magazine Fliss

Who are the Nightingales? What’s it like being in the band (it’s quite blokey right)?
The Nightingales are a post-punk band from the 80’s that had big success with help of John Peel. Their former band, The Prefects, was also quite popular. I was honored when Robert Lloyd (lead singer of the Nightingales) asked me to be the new drummer. I love the music and the drumming is extremely challenging. Touring with a bunch of middle- aged blokes isn’t as bad as it sounds…they look after me and I love playing with them. The new Nightingales record is going to be released on Cooking Vinyl, which is a dream for me. It’s a completely different feel from the old “Gales”, a real rock and roll album and this new line up was praised highly last year so 2012 could be a real changer for The Nightingales.

Greatest Woman Drummer Tom Tom Magazine Fliss

And your other current band?
I also play drums for The Broken Seas. It’s a female fronted blues/ rocky band… I do it for a change in style and we just play locally. It’s a lot of fun.

Tell me about the Norwich scene. It’s seems pretty cool…
Norwich scene is pretty great- so many bands and venues and everyone supports each other’s shows. We have a lot of female bands too which is fantastic and a fair few that are getting recognized and doing well.

By Christy Edwards

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