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former Oasis boss wife’s fashion brand rivals Pretty Green

CARDIFF - Photo: looking a bit like air hostesses, the High Flying Birds :).
If you want to ask her something, tell me 'cause soon or later we'll do another interview.
While her husband was basking in the glory of his part in revolutionising British music, Mrs Alan McGee, aka Kate Holmes [also appearing in the recent Upside Down film about Creation Records history], was quietly setting up an empire that could do the same for British fashion. Sally Williams caught up with her.
Back in the ’90s, Creation Records was the name behind Brit Pop, famously launching the career of Oasis.
Kate Holmes, the wife of label boss Alan McGee, was there while the band were at their peak – but now she’s making her own history on a very different arena.
The 40-year-old runs her own fashion business, Client, from Hay-on-Wye, where the couple live in a secluded mansion.
And her customer base now includes an eclectic mix of famous faces from actor Rhys Ifans, socialite Pixie Geldof and politician Kirsty Williams AM.
Client is a metamorphosis of the mum-of-one’s old band of the same name who began touring in the early Noughties.
The band – Kate and former Dubstar lead singer Sarah Blackwood – were originally known only as Client A and Client B with their faces hidden on any publicity photos.
“I wrote to Martin Gore of Depeche Mode back in 2003 asking if we could be their support act on a couple of dates on their tour and he said ‘Yes’,” says Kate, who played keyboards.
“And we ended up being invited to travel on their private jet and play 15 dates.
“We toured Russia and went on to make four albums and tour the world, from Mexico to China.
“We were affectionately known as the ‘Pet Shop Girls’ although our material was quite dark.”
The band released a single, Pornography, with former Libertines co-frontman and Dirty Pretty Things frontman Carl Barat, and it reached number 22 in the UK charts.
But while they were big in Germany, they never reached “beyond Barfly-level” over here thanks, Kate believes, to the music press not taking to what she describes as an underground cult band and she finally became jaded with her rock lifestyle.
“I’d had enough of not getting enough sleep and of life backstage,” she says.
“It was at that point that I decided to turn our band into a brand.”
She put all the money she made from the band into turning Client into the fashion, film and music business that it is today – but is at pains to make it clear that she has always been “totally self-funded”.
“I didn’t want people to know I was married to Alan otherwise we would have become ‘McGee’s Mrs and that bird from Dubstar’,” she reveals.
“The only help we had from Alan was that he gave us confidence – we were signed to Mute Records.”
She created her unisex lifestyle brand to target the Eastern European market – all firmly based in Wales and the UK.
“Manufacturing at a factory in London is more expensive but it is really important for me to keep the brand British and sustainable – not use cheap sweatshops abroad.”
Kate, whose grandmother was Welsh, moved to Wales when she was 11 and attended King Henry VIII School in Abergavenny before studying at Sussex University.
She met Alan in the late 1990s when Oasis were topping the charts with hits like Wonderwall and Live Forever.
“His press officer, a mutual friend, said Alan wanted to take me out to dinner because he had seen my band on the TV and fancied me,” she says.
“I thought, ‘Spoil me, why not?’
“I was charmed by this Scottish man with an infectious enthusiasm.
“The relationship was a slow burner and we dined out for four months before Alan said. ‘I really want this to work’ and so we went for it.”
Kate was also with Alan, along with Oasis’ Noel Gallagher and his then partner Meg Mathews, Lenny Henry, Anita Roddick and Tony Robinson at 10 Downing Street on July 30, 1997, to congratulate the new Prime Minister Tony Blair on his election victory.
When former USA President Bill Clinton made his headline-grabbing appearance at the Hay Festival in 2001, where he famously described the event as the ‘Woodstock of the mind’, he stayed at Alan and Kate’s house.
“We weren’t allowed to be here when he arrived and his stay was called Operation Ron – I still have the placard written in pen and ink,” she says.
“He had six members of staff and they left loads of rubbish and pizzas and after they left we couldn’t make any calls out because the telephone line had been hooked up to the Pentagon!”
The clothes are available from clientlondon.com
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Oasisblues copyright © 1994 - 2017

Beady Eye gigography and next tour dates

2000

30 May - Forum, Milan, Italy (the first "Noeless" gig since 1991 when he didn't join Oasis yet)

summer tour without Noel

2003

16 November - Andy Bell unplugged - Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden (bootleg)

2011


3rd & 4th March - Barrowland, Glasgow, Scotland +here and here + bootleg
6th & 7th March - O2 Apollo, Manchester +bootleg 1 +bootleg 2
9th & 10th March - Troxy, London +bootleg 1
13 March - Casino de Paris, Paris, france
14 March - E-Werk, Koln, Germany
16 March - Alcatraz, Milan, Italy +dvd bootleg
18 March - La Riviera, Madrid, Spain +bootleg
19 March - Bikini, Toulouse, france
21 March - Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland (bootleg)
22 March - Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium (bootleg)
14 & 15 April - The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland here a bootleg image
17 April - Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
20 April - O2 Academy, Newcastle (a photo here)
23 April - Centre, Newport (photo and bootleg)
30 May - Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, Germany
+a photo here + win tickets here
8 June - Saschall, Firenze, Italy +my story here +bootleg here +win tickets here
11th June - Papillons de Nuit Festival, Saint Lo, france
12 June - Isle of Wight festival +story here and here +interview here +videos here +interview and bootleg here
25th June - Theater of Living Art, Philadelphia, U.S.A.
30 June - Rock Werchter, Belgium (bootleg)
1 July - Main Square Festival, Arras, france +a photo here
7 July - BBK Live Festival, Bilbao, Spain
9 July - Oxegen Festival, Naas, Ireland
26 August - Reading Festival (win tickets) +videos here +review&video here +bootleg here
3 September - AX Hall, Seoul, South Korea
14 September - Twinkle Rock Festival, Taipei, Taiwan
7 October - Atlantico, Rome, Italy +main bootleg here +another bootleg here
+win the concert here
11 October - Volkshaus, Zurich, Switzerland (postponed)
13 October - Gasometer, Vienna, Austria (postponed)
31 October - Theater Caupolican, Santiago, Chile
2 November - Teatro de Verano Ramon Collazo, Montevideo, Uruguay
3 November - Teatro Colegiales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 November - Personal Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina
5 November - Planeta Terra festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil
12 November - O2 Academy, Sheffield
14 November - O2 Academy, Birmingham
17 November - O2 Academy Brixton, London
2 December - The Warfield, San Francisco, U.S.A.
3 December - Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, U.S.A. +another complete review here +win tickets here and here
5 December - First Avenue, Minneapolis, U.S.A.
6 December - The Rave Ballroon, Milwaukee, U.S.A.
9 December - Terminal 5, New York, U.S.A.
10 December - House of Blues, Boston, U.S.A.

2012

new tour

2013

3 June - Abbey Road, London (acoustic) +bootleg here
7 June - McClusky's, Kingston (album launch acoustic gig)



8 November - Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland

2014

Noel Gallagher solo gigography, and Low Lying Turds tour dates

(although his blinded fans say he's a "new solo artist", it's 20 years he's around and already played "solo" gigs previously (the first one in 1994), with the help of other people of course, as the Unplugged 1996, the gig for Tibet, the tour in 2006-2007, London, Milan, Manchester, Moscow, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, Australia, etc.)

2010


25 March - Royal Albert Hall - London

2011


28 November - Alcatraz - Milan, Italy + review here +video bootleg here +audio and video bootleg here

2012


lost interest... even Noel got bored of himself

10 April - Auditorio Banamex - Monterrey, Mexico (cancelled)

END OF THE HIGH FLYING BIRDS

2013

fans leave the gig again and ask for Liam again
..... € 10 = £ 8
 

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