First Dates

A First Date (Pole Dancing) With... Claudia Kane

I got to know one of the UK's most enigmatic new pop stars by riding the pole and doing some tarot.

by Angus Harrison
09 April 2015, 4:26pm

My dating game is pretty terrible. If I even get as far as asking someone out, I then usually ruin it by inviting them to a stupidly crowded gastro-pub only to accidentally end up talking about Guns N’Roses for 40 minutes. I need structure. I need a clearly laid out itinerary that allows me to “BE MYSELF” while coasting from one stimulating activity to another. Thankfully my editor here at Noisey has my best interests at heart, so I was super-psyched when this conversation went down:

“Angus, do you want to go on a date with an upcoming UK pop enigma called Claudia Kane?”
“I don’t know, I’m kind of bad at dates.”
“She will give you a tarot card reading and then teach you how to pole dance.”

It was perfect. The stage was set for the best date of my life. Not only was I going to have my fortune read by everyone’s favourite dark-art top trumps, but I was also going to learn how to look sexy while massively improving my core strength. After an evening listening to Claudia’s music, practicing my moves on the lamppost across the road, I felt ready, so headed down to a pub in Alexandra Palace to meet my date/mentor.

Claudia Kane is still relatively new in the world of pop, so I didn’t have a huge amount to go on. Listening to her music suggested a sleek, moody take on pop, existing somewhere between Tori Amos and Kylie Minogue. Yet the smattering of pictures I could find made her look almost gothic. With these completely varying expectations in mind I was relieved to discover that in person she was super-nice, and the conversation flowed freer than the trendy craft ales. After a chilled drink, a tarot card reading, and the below conversation, we moved on to her pole dance instructor’s place, which is where I discovered: I have a gift.

Noisey: Hi Claudia! I bet, being a cool tarot card-reading musician, you get asked on loads of dates?
Claudia Kane: I don’t really have time for dating.

Which rapper said I’ve got 99 problems but the bitch ain’t one?

Jay Z.
Ok, that’s me. I’m channeling Jay Z.

I’ve said the same about myself before now. So if you never date, what are your songs about?
Well I don’t ‘never’ date. I write about matters of the heart but not from the point of view of being ‘in love’. I’ve been in relationships, but I write more about the insecurities of being in a relationship or the end of the relationship. Just none of the nice stuff in between.

Hopefully in the future that might change.

Speaking of the future, can you read my tarot cards now? I’m pretty nervous.
Ok, take the cards. Now shuffle them. And lay them out like this...

Right, what do they mean?
Okay so you’ve got a good spread. The star is an aquarius, I’m an aquarius so I like this one. The star means inspiration, the hermit is soul-searching, the hangman means periods of suspension and impatience. The moon is your feelings of anxieties, justice means truth. Then the fool is your young energy card. It means you are a free spirit and spontaneous. Well done.

I’m an anxious hermit. Fantastic.
It isn’t who you are, more of a guidance thing. The other night I had the chariot, for me it was saying “you need to apply yourself and put some hard work into what you are doing”.

I think you should do yours now.
Okay, so for myself, I usually lay them out like this...oh no...the devil and death. No!

No! No! I didn’t shuffle them properly, so it’s void.

Your satanic affiliations are killing the vibe. Would you always bring these on a date?
Well, I’ve had them for a while. My sister bought them for me ages ago.

That’s a cute birthday present.
When I was younger I wanted to be a witch. I realised that you can’t really do that for a living, so my booby prize was being given some tarot cards and a witch’s hat. So I would run around the house with those. I also had loads of cats growing up. At one point we had 24 when a few of the cats had litters. Me and my mum are crazy cat women.

Can you remember all 24 of their names?
Not all of them but they did have pretty strange names. We had Ewok, Wok-Wok, one was called Liquorice, Nala, Simba, Saffy (from Ab-Fab), Benny, Benji. No human names though. I find it so weird when someone is shouting “Hamilton” at their dog.

Cats and witchcraft are pretty sinister past-times for a child.
I’ve always been interested in other-worldly things. I love watching sci-fi, horror films. Anything to do with dystopian futures.

Do you like bringing the darker side into your music?
The EP is pretty gothic. On one of the tracks, “Hungry”, I sing “I’ll haunt you in the night” and I have a song called “Terrifying Love” - so yeah pretty dark.

It’s an interesting direction for a pop singer.
It’s always been like this. A few years ago I did some auditions for girl groups, I even got down to the final round for a Sugababes lineup. I don’t know, I never really felt like I fitted in. Everyone was really glammed up, wearing heels, and I was the only one wearing Doc Martens.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
I really like Alabama Shakes at the moment and I really like Kwabs. Also, I know they’re not new, but I’ve always loved Placebo. I remember being on an ex-boyfriend’s shoulders in the mosh-pit watching them at Reading.

That’s pretty brave, gaining height in a mosh-pit. This is me flirting by the way.
I know, I had people throwing cans of cider at me. I didn’t care. I made it on the telly as well, so it was worth getting showered in cider.

So you aren’t worried about whether people find your music cool at all?
No, I think because when I initially started writing I never thought anyone would hear it. So when I started working with my producer, and we were writing stuff. I guess because we have spent so much time together we have lost track of what is cool. Being cool isn’t what drives me when I make music.

Plus loads of great artists aren’t cool. Look at ABBA.
Do you like ABBA?

Do I like ABBA...? Uh, maybe.
They are so misunderstood. People have never found them cool. I watched a documentary about them and it made me cry.

What made you cry?
Even in their own country people didn’t find them cool. They’ve never appreciated them, even though they are so successful. It’s a bit like Queen. Nobody ever thought they were cool.

Well look, you can pole dance which immediately makes you cooler than me. I’m pretty nervous about that as well by the way.
You have to feel the fear. You will be fine.

By now you will have seen the photos. I think we can agree I was more than fine. While we parted on good terms, I think Claudia is probably going to be too busy becoming "the next big thing" to go on another date with me. That's okay though, I did come away from our meeting with one new love: the pole.

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Find Claudia on Facebook/Twitter/Soundcloud.

Claudia Kane
Pole Dancing