Kill It Kid Live Review @ Lloyd's Amphitheatre (Bristol) - 26 Sep 2010
Photo: Hannah Spencer
Billed just shy of the Sunday headline slot at this weekend's Brisfest (Bristol Festival got a makeover), Bath-based Kill It Kid stomped to the stage and played a stonking set to an eager, if shivering, Sunday evening audience.
In the year since the release of their debut album through indie label One Little Indian, Kill It Kid have gigged extensively and boy can't you tell. From the moment they opened with a confident, crashing rock and roll thrash, right through their set to its closing number, a test-run of a new track entitled 'Let My Feet Fall Heavy', Kill It Kid's conviction never faltered. Steph Ward's whole and sexy lower range vocals contrast perfectly with the big, gruff, gravel-voice that roars from Kill It Kid's main man Chris Turpin; between them they share the lead and combine in beautiful two-part harmony building a wonderful attitude-ridden blues dialogue. In the absence of fiddle player and backing vocalist Richard Jones, their vocals oozed over a stable drum and bass back line provided by band mates Marc Jones and Adam Timmins, and their self-provided accompaniment (keyboards and guitar respectively). For much of the set, Ward posed moodily in the half-light of the stage right where her electric piano and Wurlitzer rack stood; she aggressively struck her neighbouring floor tom from time to time, particularly during forceful passages, whilst knocking out bluesy organ parts with her other hand. The moody stage lighting was perfectly complimentary to Kill It Kid's raucous blues-rock guise.
Amongst the host of favourites from their self-titled debut album, 'Burst It's Banks', 'Heaven Never Seemed So Close' et al., the Brisfest audience were also guinea pigs to three newer tracks; 'You're In My Blood', a sultry number during which Ward snatches the lead and takes to her floor tom with vengeance, 'Little Play On Me', and the aforementioned set closer 'Let My Feet Fall Heavy', which the band claimed had gone wrong during the previous two opening nights of their tour. Tonight, as far as substantial applause confirmed at least, it was well and truly fine, Kill It Kid couldn't do anything wrong. 'Send Me an Angel Down', the bands' first single release, also towards the end of the set was the undoubted highlight of this evening's performance. With the title taken from Blind Willie McTell lyrics, the man also the inspiration for their band name, 'Send Me an Angel Down', a beautiful down-tempo number, was performed to perfection drawing the small, slightly tipsy audience into an entranced silence, mesmerised by Kill It Kids' delta-blues inspired musical blend and big vocals.
Some of Kill It Kid's repertoire had the frantic energy and fervour of The Raconteurs, with screaming bottle-neck guitar, whilst other numbers maintained the passion and sensitivity of other American singer songwriters such as Waits and Cash, with melodic bass lines and precise vocal harmonies; this evening was a hearty combination of the whole lot. Over the past year, Kill It Kid have received good reviews from a wealth of sources for their recorded material and their scarcely faulted live performances, and tonight was absolutely no exception to their fine track record; an absolute treat.
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