Interview: Rat Boy speaks ahead of Birmingham Institute show

Jordan Cardy – or Rat Boy as he is more commonly known – is an exciting recording artist who has a knack for perfectly capturing a feeling about or the experience of being a teenager-young adult in Britain.

Interview: Rat Boy speaks ahead of Birmingham Institute show

Rat Boy will appear at Birmingham's Institute tomorrow

In the noughties we had the Libertines, Arctic Monkeys and Jamie T – the first of which Jordan recently supported in Brixton.

Indie rock and hip hop masher upper Rat Boy joins this group of artists who can reproduce a zeitgeist through the urgency of their music, with lyrics which could be from a John Cooper Clarke poem.

It makes sense when you consider that, before music, Jordan was working a menial job at Wetherspoons. He was fired for serving an undercooked burger.

The Chelmsford, Essex boy said: “I was always still doing music when I worked there but, when I lost my job at Wetherspoons, it meant I had no money to go down to London to meet people.”

After losing his job he recorded a five-track mixtape providing vocals, keyboard and bass. 

This attracted attention from former Babyshambles bass-guitarist Drew McConnell.

He said: “Drew really helped me by letting him stay with him and sometimes lending me money, so I could get myself out there and get something started.”

In 2015 he burst onto the scene and went to No1 in the physical sales chart. And since then the momentum has grown.

He said: “I don’t know if I can feel the momentum necessarily but I feel like the gigs are getting a lot more mad. The venue capacities are just getting bigger and bigger.

“We’ve been doing some festivals, like this year we did Reading and Leeds and in December we play The Kentish Town Forum. It is just good to see a crowd proper packed out.”

He has built up a reputation with his gigs, which can often end with a stage rush. He said: “We don’t really encourage the stage rushes. 

“What happens at the gigs is all the fans – there is not a lot you can do. It obviously only starts with a trickle but once more than 100 people are heading towards the stage what can you do? I just like to make sure everyone is safe.”

While Rat Boy’s songs can be felt in the hearts and souls of teenagers across Britian right now, he wants to develop his music. 

He added: “I am constantly writing. I think I have got around 200 tracks to sieve through but I don’t want to stay doing the same thing because I will get bored. 

“What I write about depends on my mood which is the same for the music, too.”

Rat Boy arrives at the O2 Institute in Birmingham tomorrow.


By Bram Welch

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