Kav Sandhu

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Kav Sandhu
Birth name Kavin Sandhu
Also known as KAV
Origin Leicester
Genres Rock N' Roll, Indie, Blues, Electro
Instruments Guitar, vocals bass
Associated acts Happy Mondays, KAV

KAV (Kav Sandhu) is a British musician from Leicester UK, based in Los Angeles. He launched his solo Garage Rock project under the moniker "KAV" in 2008 with long-time friend and drummer Jim (James) Portas. His solo material has been compared by the media to everyone from Iggy & The Stooges, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Primal Scream, Kasabian, The Rolling Stones & Bob Dylan. He plays live with a full live band, which sometimes features guest musicians from various bands. Prior to this past KAV played guitar with British band Happy Mondays for 4 years after helping reform the band with frontman Shaun Ryder in 2004.

Early career[edit]

Kav Sandhu's first band, A.K.A Weave, toured the UK, playing at venues such as The London Astoria, Camden Underworld, and the Manchester Roadhouse. The band caught the eye of Oasis's ex-bassist Guigsy, who had recently parted with Oasis. This resulted in an opportunity to record at the Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales with Guigsy. The band began to work on their debut album.

After Rockfield, the band continued to record independently at Manchester's Testa Rossa Studios. Kav created the "Groove Harder" tours which A.K.A Weave played live featuring Shaun Ryder and Bez as guest DJs and other indie performers such as Rick Witter from Shed Seven.

Getloaded – Clubnights & Festival[edit]

After the split of A.K.A Weave, Sandhu moved to London in 2003 and co-launched the club night "Getloaded" at London's Turnmills nightclub. This was the start of a partnership with Turnmills MD and House promoter Danny Newman. Over the next 18 months, Sandhu brought various musicians to "Getloaded", including Factory Records boss Tony Wilson, Howard Marks (Mr Nice), Clint Boon (Inspiral Carpets/ XFM) Peter Hook (New Order/ Joy Division), Annie Mac (Radio 1), Steve Lamacq (Radio 1/ 6Music), Carl Barat (Libertines/ Dirty Pretty Things) Beta Band, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce (The Smiths), The Farm, Client, and El Presidente.

Getloaded launched its inaugural summer festival in 2004. 10,000 revellers descended on Clapham Common for what was to become one of the biggest London indie festivals, and one of the early challengers to the mainstream UK festivals. "Getloaded in The Park 2004" was awarded "Best New Festival" at the UK Festival Awards 2004.[1] Kav parted with Getloaded in 2006.

Happy Mondays[edit]

The headliner for "Getloaded in the Park 2004" was the Happy Mondays, their first live gig in nearly five years. Shaun Ryder had toured with A.K.A Weave as a DJ, and recruited Sandhu to join the Happy Mondays on guitar, handing him the task of recruiting new band members to fit alongside original members Gary Whelan and Mark Berry ("Bez"). Sandhu completed the new line-up of the Happy Mondays, along with ex A.K.A Weave band member Mikey Shine and San Diego-born slide guitar player Jonn Dunn. After their successful appearance at "Getloaded in the Park 2004", the Mondays continued touring live and decided to record a new album.

In summer 2005, Sandhu started a new indie/electro project called Sonic Audio'. The band released a white label 12" called Killing Yourself on London indie label Puregroove Records. Sonic Audio played on tour and did a gig with Shaun Ryder at the Glastonbury Festival. They played on the Leftfield stage with The Rakes and British Sea Power. Sonic Audio also played Alan McGee's Pop Tones stage as a late replacement for The Libertines ex guitarist Carl Barat.

That same summer, producers for British football film Goal! asked the Happy Mondays to write the title track for their new film. Sandhu co-wrote the track "Playground Superstar" with Shaun Ryder, Gaz Whelan and producer Dave Parkinson. Following this, Happy Mondays commenced work on a new studio album.

Happy Mondays toured the world, including appearances at Fuji Rock 2006 and 2007, Coachella Festival, Roskilde Festival, Summercase Madrid and Barcelona, Global Gathering, Getloaded festivals, MEN Arena, Brixton Academy and V Festival.

Sandhu spent his spare time playing DJ gigs worldwide, including Japan, Mexico, South America, Europe. He played on the same line-up as Guns & Roses and Bob Dylan and toured Australia on the same line-up as James Brown as part of Good Vibrations Festival.

In 2006, Happy Mondays & Sandhu recorded a new album, Unkle Dysfunktional. Sandhu played guitar and sang backing vocals, and co-wrote some of the music with Gary Whelan and Shaun Ryder. The album featured Ry Cooder and LA rapper Mickey Avalon, and was released on Sanctuary Records in the summer of 2007. The band continues to tour worldwide. Sandhu played his last show with the Mondays at V Festival 2007, leaving to pursue his solo project.

In August 2007 Kav guested with Norwegian dance-rockers Datarock at festivals in Reading and Leeds, plus some London shows.


In January 2008 Kav Sandhu announced his new solo project titled "KAV".

On 21 April 2008, he released his début EP Blaggers N' Liars. It received good reviews in the press, including The Guardian, which described Sandhu as a "Latter Day Jagger" [2] The Sun rated the EP four out of five.

The music was compared to bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Primal Scream, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin by The Guardian and other publications. Kerrang! Radio recently described Sandhu as a one in million artist and compared him to Bob Dylan with an addiction to sleaze.[3]

Los Angeles[edit]

After recording several album tracks in London at Fortress Studios, KAV moved to Los Angeles to work with producer and Eastern Conference Champions front man Josh Ostrander.

While recording the album in Los Angeles, KAV & his band of blaggers played at Spaceland, The Viper Room, Whisky a Go Go, The Silverlake Lounge & the Key Club, testing the new material on US Audiences. Sandhu also did some DJ'ing at clubs, including Cinnespace (as part of The Dim Mak records night) and The Standard Hotel. Back in the UK the band performed at The Aftershow in Manchester with "The Music," and London club nights like "This Feeling" and venues like Punk, The 100 Club and Proud Galleries.

KAV spent the majority of 2008 to 2011 in Los Angeles. He touring the US independently & on a tour with DATAROCK & Esser, including dates at SXSW 2010 & CMJ Music Marathon 2009 & 2010. He released The Mr Nice EP featuring Howard Marks in October 2010 & Toured the UK with Howard Marks to promote the release.

During this period KAV also returned to his home-town in Leicester to work on some album tracks with Gren Spencer & to remix some of the earlier recordings with London producer Marc Waterman.

KAV signed a publishing deal in Los Angeles, and in 2009 his track "Easy" was featured in the Hollywood film Naked Ambition. The sound track for the movie was chosen by Nic Harcourt. In 2011 his music was featured in the Soundtrack for the film, To Live & Ride in LA.

KAV supported cult US band The Posies at The Viper Room in July 2011, as part of a run of West Coast US dates.

His album was remixed in 2011 by Josh Ostrander and mastered by Stephen Marcussen (Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney, Black Crowes, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana).

He also recorded a live album at Bedrock Studios, Echo Park, mixed by Nick Tipp.

KAV's track City of Sun was used by AMC across North America in May 2012 for their Spring Trailer.

Recent activities[edit]

KAV's first single from his album Blaggers N' Liars 2012 was released on 26 March 2012.

Gibson Guitar Studios showcased KAV in London on 16 February 2012. The gig was reviewed in The Daily Star. That summer 2012 KAV headlined Club NME @ KOKO & supported Kasabian @ Brixton Academy London, with Band of Skulls. He also played for BT London Live / London Olympics at Hyde Park & Victoria Park, and played a headline show at King Tuts Glasgow, plus Death Disco & a headline show at Camden barfly

In October 2012 KAV supported Liverpool band The Farm as part of their 20th Anniversary London Show with special guests Mick Jones & John Power The La's. His single King of the World (The Undefeated Champion) was released on Suburban Records on 29 October & featured Pro MMA Fighters in the video.

In March 2013 Shameless used KAV's track Blaggers N' Liars for their new series on Showtime. KAV spent the rest of 2013 recording an album project with Rick Genest AKA Zombie Boy. Zombie Boy who featured on KAV's latest single Dirty Rejects which was released 21 May 2013.

KAV released his first single of 2014 "Dance In A Panic" in May 2014. The single was picked for a movie teaser for feature film "Decoding Annie Parker" & saw Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) dancing to the track.

KAV's debut album was released on 29 August 2014 on Wild Echo Records. His album debuted at #20 on the CMJ 'Most Added' chart in it's first week. KAV was in the Top 30 Chart on 22 US College Stations including KXLU, KFSR, KVMR & KLSU while also securing airplay at influential stations like KUMD, WKNC, WRUV & WUNH. Stryker from KROQ named his single "Blaggers N' Liars" his favorite '4.20' of the year in December 2014.

KAV is currently in the studio recording material for his follow up EP. He is launching his LA "Dance In A Panic" parties in Summer 2015.


  1. ^ Virtual Festivals: http://www.virtualfestivals.com (22 August 2004). "Get Loaded in the Park Festival – Get Loaded in the Park 2004". Virtualfestivals.com. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Paul Lester (14 March 2008). "No 291: Kav | Music | guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "105.2 FM, Freeview & DAB". Kerrang! Radio. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 

External links[edit]

  • 'KAV' Official Website [1]
  • Guardian Band of the day no:291 KAV
  • Buzz Bands LA [2]
  • The Sun 'Blaggers N' Liars Review [3]
  • Leicester Sound [4]
  • Leicester Mercury [5]
  • The Sun – KAV Leaves the Mondays [6]
  • NME News [7]
  • This is Plymouth – KAV & Howard Marks review [8]
  • The Daily Star Gibson Guitar Studio Review – [9]