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Kitty, Daisy & Lewis enjoying first tour of U.S. 

It's quite common to say that someone is "wise beyond their years," but it's not as often that you hear someone has "talent beyond their years." Both labels may fit the brother/sisters trio of Kitty, Daisy & Lewis as the group of multi-instrumentalists is currently opening up for Coldplay. Oh yeah, and I should mention it's their first official tour. Not a bad way to kick off a career.

Kitty, 16, Daisy, 21, and Lewis, 19, Durham also have mom and dad in the band with them. Yep, it's a family affair. So, while they are all adjusting to life on the road, they're also getting their first tastes of America and their first brushes with family frustrations.

"We went to South by Southwest last year, but we never really toured before," Kitty says by phone from a recent tour stop in St. Louis. "We're getting used to it now. It's kind of the same routine every day. I knew that we'd sort of be on the bus all the time and getting up, playing the gig and then going to the next one.

"We're used to being around together a lot. We hang out at home together and we'll go to the pub together. We're used to it already, but sometimes it can be quite a nightmare -- not just to be with our parents, but for all of us. It hasn't been anything too serious, but we're only halfway through," she notes with a laugh. "And at that, Mom just stuck her two fingers up at me."

The trio's '50s-style of music -- jump blues, R&B, country, rockabilly -- is accentuated by their fashion sense, though Kitty isn't quite sure where the interest comes from. She assumes most of it can be attributed to songs her father would sing to them while growing up. "My dad used to sing us songs when we were little, for bedtime, and they're some of the songs that we play on stage," she says. "Some of them we heard my dad singing before we heard the actual record. We were playing them before we heard the record, too."

She adds that her father's influence didn't push them into life on the road and that things have just kind of happened for them. After Lewis was once asked to perform at a local pub in their hometown of Camden, near London, England, Daisy soon joined up, as did Kitty. Other pub owners soon followed. The next thing they know, they've been asked to open up for Coldplay.

"As first, we were a bit worried about warming up the crowd because there were hardly any people there," Kitty says. "They only open up the doors just before we go on. We just play what we play and if people enjoy it, they enjoy it."

The band's debut self-titled U.S. release is mostly cover songs -- "Going Up the Country" and "I Got My Mojo Working" among them -- but the band has been doing more writing and says their live set is balanced between covers and originals. The album was recorded on home studio equipment that is all vintage in order to give it a more live and raw feeling. It should be no surprise that on a recent day off, they traveled to Memphis to check out Sun Studios.

As for their talent, all three are self-taught musicians, though they did get some pointers from their dad. Kitty says there were always instruments lying around the house for them to pick up and mess around with.

"We've just always been jamming together since we were little -- all five of us, pretty much," she says. "My dad showed me a couple of chords, but that was about it. We had piano lessons at one point a few years ago, but we didn't really stick with it. We just wanted to learn litte rock 'n' roll riffs over and over again. So, I think our teacher gave up."

Kitty says they would sit around the house and listen to songs by artists such as Gary Glitter on their mother's 45 rpm records or go to a pub to listen to bands before picking up instruments and starting to play. Kitty herself plays drums, harmonica, guitar, banjo and ukelele. She's also the lead singer. Even when she talks about the instruments, it all sounds easy.

"I find all the instruments are similar in a way if you've got rhythm," she says. "Before I learned guitar, the banjo or ukelele only had four strings, so I found it a little easier rather than the six strings of guitar. The drums were probably my first instrument. I always wanted a drum kit and my dad gave me one when I was about 7 years old. Harmonica ... I don't know how that came about."

She says when the band first started, she was playing drums, Lewis was on guitar and Daisy was playing piano. Then she started playing ukelele and Daisy had an interest in the drums and they started to change it up more and more. Kitty says if she writes a song on guitar, she'll stick with that instrument when performing it. Other than that, they'll just figure out what sounds best with the song they're playing, noting that they even play the instruments differently.

"When I wrote our new single, 'Baby Hold Me Tight,' I wrote it on guitar and asked Lewis to play drums and Daisy to try out the piano," she says. "But Daisy didn't want to play piano because it's kind of a jazzy thing and she's used to playing more of a rhythm on the piano. She saw a xylophone in the corner and decided to try that. She picked it up and I had no idea what it would be like. It was completely different in my head, but it turned out really good."

While the band continues to write, no timeline is set for their next album, although they plan on recording it in their home again. "We tried other studios, but it sounds really terrible," Kitty says. "We want to capture our live sound and make it more raw -- not all computerized and horrible."

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are opening for Coldplay at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on Aug. 7. The show is sold out, but tickets may be released on the day of the show. Check livenation.com for availability.

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