Morrissey hails unsigned group's frontwoman as 'best British singer in years' Morrissey Tickets

Doll & The Kicks tell NME how former Smiths man became their Number One fan

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Morrissey has hailed a new band, declaring their frontwoman the "the best British singer of recent years".

The former Smiths frontman has lent his support to Brighton-based group Doll & The Kicks, praising lead singer Hannah Scanlon's vocals in particular.

"When I first saw Doll & The Kicks live, I could not, even with the best will in the world, look away," explained Morrissey. "I can't be reasoned with where Hannah is concerned – she is the best British singer of recent years. She will sing an entire song without any breathing lulls, and the boys seal her confidence brilliantly. How they work off each other is the most any group could give; the soft tones as arresting as the muscular tones. They certainly deserve far more serious treatment than they have received."

The singer has invited the new band to support him and expressed his surprise that they remain unsigned.

"The fact that they remain unsigned is bizarre beyond belief, but insofar as I can tell, the entire point of the X Factor culture is to starve genuine music out of existence – whether that be Doll & The Kicks, or, for that matter, me," he noted. "What this means, I think, is that, these days, being blacklisted from the game is a compliment, and you can't continue to pledge allegiance to the world of music if it doesn't pledge allegiance to you."

Reacting to Morrissey's praise, Scanlon told NME she was "honoured".

"How can you not be pleased to hear anyone describe you as such [the best British singer in recent years], let alone have that person be Morrissey, the undisputed Indie King and an awe-inspiring talent right up to this day," she explained. "It's a huge accolade for anyone and I'm truly honoured."

She added that the band, who have been going for about five years, had been introduced to Morrissey through a former manager.

"He just decided to come down and watch us live. We didn't think he would come and we certainly didn't think he would stay, I had heard he quite often leaves in disappointment a few songs into many gigs. But he was still there at the end and had moved to a position in the front," recalled Scanlon. "Then he made a point of talking to each of us individually about the music and what he liked about it; he notices everything in great detail. I remember thinking that he was not at all how I had imagined."

The band, who have a series of dates of their own lined up, including one at London's Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen tonight (October 13), added that not only had Morrissey surprised them, but his fans had too when they played dates together.

"Morrissey fans are not quite like any other fans you will ever meet," admitted Scanlon. "We were told to brace ourselves for hostility at the worst and indifference at best which is why we were shocked with the warm reaction we were given and the support we still receive to this day. We grew into what we are now on that tour; we sound, play and look like a different band and every gig was intense and utterly exciting."

For more on the band, including dates see MySpace.com/dollandthekicks.

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29 Nov 2014 The O2 Arena London

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