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Live Reviews Music

Kid Kapichi create vivid memories

Towards the end of Kid Kapichi’s headline set at Scala, singer-guitarist Jack Wilson looks back on his first trip to the venue. He fondly remembers being dropped at the station by his mum, catching the train to London, and rushing across the city to see Slaves.

Based on the way they respond to every song, most of the punters listening to his story will have equally vivid memories of tonight’s gig.

It all begins with a no-holds-barred performance by Seaford duo SNAYX. Singer-guitarist Charlie Herridge alternately barks, spits, and roars his vocals, all the while laying down jagged, punky riffs. Not to be outdone, bassist Ollie Horner plays with a ferocity and aggression usually reserved for an MMA cage, relentlessly whipping the music forward with his bass-as-lead-guitar approach.

Backed by a touring drummer, they rip their way through tight, ferocious songs like current single False Friends, their set climaxing with Herridge jumping into the crowd, at first to sing directly at audience members, before joining the mosh pit (microphone still in hand). Fittingly then, on Instagram the morning after, they sum up “one of the best gigs of our lives” as “PURE JOY”.

Equally joyous are Brighton trio Projector, who kick off their eight-song set with the slow-burning Love. Featuring an introspective-explosive approach to verses and choruses, shimmering guitar licks from Edward Ensbury, plus driving bass and quiet-loud-quiet vocals from Lucy Sheehan, comparisons to The Pixies are inevitable. A visceral cover of Tame, with Ensbury singing lead, only reinforces the similarities, but there’s so much more to this band.

Melding other influences as disparate as Sonic Youth, Grimes, and Alvvays into a sound all their own, the songs Sheehan, Ensbury, and drummer Cal Marinho play tonight showcase their impressive range. And from the despairing Full Circle and light-dark duet Someone Calling to the bright, hopeful Feels Like Something and all-out punk energy of Zero, they continue the perfect build up to tonight’s main event.

Taking the stage to the strains of Ennio Morricone’s The Good, The Bad And The Ugly soundtrack, Kid Kapichi launch straight into the raging Sardines. With its refrain of “you’re angry and you don’t know why”, it’s the perfect representation of their debut album, This Time Next Year, which deals with the frustrations of youth, the struggles of class, the relentless churn of modern life, and the tyranny of the Tories.

As Wilson, in jacket and tie, rages through lines like “When they rip away our rights, split the country till it fights for too long” (the aggressively danceable Thugs) and “All work and no play makes Jack an angry boy, and they kick you when you’re down” (a fiercely melodic Working Man’s Town), the wall of sound all around him only reinforces the message.

Wilson himself offers both chunky riffs and siren wails from his guitar. Ben Beetham, who also contributes lead vocals, is an equally intense guitarist, while bassist Eddie Lewis and drummer George Macdonald pummel their instruments with the necessary brutality. Below its glistening surface, Glitterati packs a knock-out punch. 2019, from the EP Sugar Tax, ends with a particularly thunderous jam. Fomo Sapiens slows the pace a little, but still struts like a heavyweight boxer. The distortion-drenched Lucky Ones sounds like a battlefield. And Violence, the song that closes the opening night of the Big Sexy tour, is the musical equivalent of an avalanche.

But no matter how belligerent the music or lyrics get, Kid Kapichi never lose their sense of melody or humour. They’re conveying serious sentiments, without ever sounding self-important or hard done by. (“I don’t mean to sound like a preacher,” Wilson even declares on Self Saboteur.) They’re working out their frustrations through undeniably catchy songs.

The audience — a raging sea of moshing, crowd surfing, and raised fists — gets it too. No matter how frenzied things get out there, they’re clearly having as much fun as the band and forming memories as vivid as Wilson’s.

Kid Kapichi | Projector | SNAYX
Scala
4 November 2021

Photo: Naomi Dryden-Smith

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Live Reviews Music

Kasabian re-emerge stronger than ever

Serge Pizzorno was never “just” the guitarist in Kasabian. He wrote most of the songs. He single-handedly produced their last two albums. He increasingly provided lead or co-lead vocals. And, on stage, he was always as dazzling a hype man as a musician. So, when frontman Tom Meighan was convicted of domestic abuse and abruptly left in July 2020, Pizzorno stepped up.

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Live Reviews Music

Sea Girls show what it’s like to be young

Sea Girls’ social feeds are awash with groups of young people either beaming with their homemade banners, dancing energetically without a care in the world, or raising their hands in unison as they cheer.

They’re all clearly having such a good time that their photos could be used as marketing materials for a youth culture brand promising to make dreams come true. And yet, 30 seconds into Sea Girls’ sold-out Brixton Academy gig, it’s clear that the pictures completely undersell the experience.

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Live Reviews Music

Elbow bask in hope and elation

The first words out of Guy Garvey’s mouth suggest that something’s changed. “And I don’t know Jesus anymore,” he declares over the grimy guitar riff and glitchy stop-start rhythms of Dexter & Sinister. “How do you keep your eyes ablaze, In these faith-free, hope-free, charity-free days?” the Elbow singer asks.

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Live Reviews Music

Steve Hackett takes Seconds Out

Seconds Out is an inspired choice for Steve Hackett to revisit in concert. Not only the guitarist’s swansong with Genesis, the live album is a ready-made greatest hits collection of his tenure with the band.

Recorded on the 1977 tour supporting their second Phil Collins-fronted LP, it showcases songs from the previous year’s A Trick Of The Tail and The Wind & Wuthering alongside choice singles and fan favourites from the Peter Gabriel era. So, over 90-something minutes and 12 tracks that he had an integral part in creating, Hackett can retrace the six-year journey from 1971’s Nursery Cryme to his decision to go solo full time.

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Live Reviews Music

The Sisters of Mercy still want more

When Andrew Eldritch roars “I want more” during the second encore of The Sisters Of Mercy’s third show in as many days, he obviously means it. Throughout his band’s final 40th anniversary London show, he’s performed with the untiring purpose of a man still looking ahead.

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Live Reviews Music

Heaven 17 go back to the beginning

Album anniversary shows are meant to follow a formula. Play your biggest-selling album from start to finish, a multiple-of-five years after its release. Let fans around the world relive the big songs of their youth. Give them the chance to go to the bar or bathroom during the filler tracks. And send them home happy with a few other hits from your catalogue.

But there’s nothing formulaic about Heaven 17’s celebration of 1979’s Reproduction and the following year’s Travelogue.

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Live Reviews Music

White Lies celebrate To Lose My Life

Album anniversary tours are now as common as Liam Gallagher’s name at the top of festival bills. In just the past few weeks, everyone from Alanis Morrisette and Goldfrapp to David Gray and Jill Scott have announced treks honouring their landmark albums.

Even a band as obsessed with staying relevant as U2 are in Japan right now playing The Joshua Tree from start to finish, a full two years after first taking the LP around the rest of the world.

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Live Reviews Music

The Lumineers stick to their guns

When The Lumineers hit the big time with 2012’s inescapable Ho Hey, they were lumped in with the other bands riding the folk revival wave of the time. Their contemporaries (say Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters And Men) have since embraced Coldplay-rock, adult-oriented-pop, inoffensive electronica, and everything Imagine Dragons have ever done. But The Lumineers have stuck to their guns.

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Live Reviews Music

Of Monsters And Men: joy will prevail

Of Monsters And Men are about so much more than songs with irresistible “la-la-la” choruses, impossibly sunny melodies, kooky lyrics about pet dragonflies and talking trees, and sudden jubilant outbursts of “hey!”. Of Monsters And Men are about spreading joy.

For 90 minutes, the Icelandic band cast their spell over the masses packed into a sold-out Eventim Apollo, resulting in almost involuntary behaviours: mass singalongs, synchronised clapping, arms-raised sway-dancing, and 5,000 voices shouting “hey!” as one.