Drops of sweat trail paths with Budweiser, as they drip down the enclosed graffiti-filled bar walls. The humming New York twang dances on the airwaves, toying alongside reverberating guitar licks. Welcome to East Village, NYC. The gritty hub of creativity, there's just something about the East Village that makes people recall 'the good old days'. Through its inexhaustible grid of dingy music bars and surrounding misfits, it acts as a stark reminder to the people of real Rock 'N' Roll. Hold on tight to your subway ticket and mind the gap in time; you are now stepping down into an underground Britanys gig.
'You must be one of those city boys’ - the syllable of each word echoes through the rusty amplifier, this is the soundtrack to the life of Steele Kratt, the drummer of Brooklyn-based band The Britanys
. A true city boy, Steele is the sweet talker of the DIY band. He welcomes photographer Rachel Cabitt
in with a captivating goofy smile and a soft voice, pushing aside a head of floppy hair that has it’s own party whilst on stage. Growing up with raw inspiration in his eyesight and the sounds of Lou Reed in his eardrums, he epitomises a true New Yorker.
A natural drummer since his early years, Steele sparks energy from the top of his drum sticks, tapping anything that it's sight. Find a beat, create a beat. The spirit of the East Village is still alive, it’s still rock ’n’ roll, and this is Steele Kratt’s stomping ground. It’s a raunchy love affair that one undergoes with the music, the settings and the scene. Head over someone else's heels, you fall down the rabbit hole of musical oblivion faster than the rap of Steele's snare drum.
With two mugs of fresh green tea, Steele and Rachel hang in his Bushwick apartment on a windy New York afternoon, enjoying the crisp sound of records accompanied by melodies of laughter. But it’s not just a carefree path for him, he wakes up with hunger to be the best. Don’t be fooled by his kooky smile and laid back aura; he has a determined vision and will pull every guitar string to make his dream a walking reality.
Listen to The Britany's music here.
Words by Ede Dugdale.