Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Kids in Glass Houses @ The Sugarmill

Review by Sian Eardley

Photo by Alex Mulliner

Tonight was busy from the get-go, which is not always the case, striking tonight as a special one-off event; celebrating the success of Kids in Glass Houses. You only have to look at the facts to know that they’re doing something right: they’ve recently released second album ‘Dirt’, have featured heavily on Radio One’s airplay, and their ‘Big Weekend’ show in Bangor earlier this year, and if that’s not enough, they made a special stop in Stoke before jet setting off to the likes of Japan and Australia. Oh how we were privileged to welcome the boys from Cardiff; and they’re unlikely to grace us again before they storm the likes of Manchester and Birmingham Academy in November.

The younger generation certainly made up the mass population of the audience – the ‘scene’ fashionable kids, the girls who aspire to the ideals of Hayley Williams and the boys who want to love her; only proven by the vast singing along to the background musac in-between sets. But, that music generation today; that strange musical hybrid of post-emo, stylish punk rock, considered to be a ‘cool’ conception, brings us to today. Gone are the days of the committed sweaty and indie/mod rocker divide; the two have been brought together for this new genetic post/prog emo to the likes of KIGH, but they do pull it off. Though their fans provide an new audience etiquette to cater for (they don’t even say ‘sorry’ when barging past, and yes this might sound like a grumpy granny speaking – but it begs the question: ‘can we have the real music appreciators please?’) – During fellow Welsh support act ‘Town’, the crowd were there just to be ‘scene’ rather than hear what was on offer. However, Town did play up to this with plug, plug, plug and ‘MySpace this and that’ during their average pop-punk set, slightly resembling ‘Futureheads’ vocals, but pushing too hard to have an American polished edge.

To the audience’s defense, they did stop and listen when the tremendous headlining five-some unleashed their jam packed set (note: with no encore), of golden oldies, recent hits and future smashes.

From front to back, and for the entire duration, the now well-behaved crowd never stopped moving for the crowd-surfers to boppers, and arm wavers to head-nodders, with everyone notably singing their heart out to track ‘Sunshine’. This had to be a highlight, with everyone joining in for the ‘Wooooahhhh!’ chorus, and the band turned this lamenting love song into an extraordinary uplifting musical experience for all present.

Like their obvious peers and local comrades: ‘Lostprophets’, their songs cry out for stadium arenas for fans to ‘Ohhhh; to, as they exude immense emotional power. Similar to Lostprophets is their engagement with the audience, like Ian Watkins, they might curse heavily, but nonetheless permeate a confident charisma which you can’t ignore. It was an absolute wonder the place didn’t fall down when ‘Undercover Lover’ came blaring through the speakers, and frankly from the way lead singer Aled Phillips leapt on stage like a rocking Robert Pattinson, which yes made the girls swoon, he absolutely worked it tonight, and it particularly shone through this performance. Everybody in the building was in complete awe.

Tonight the boys and girls were entertained. It was worthy of £11 of anybody’s (pocket) money, as the lads from the valleys delivered the goods hands down, and it was refreshing to see them celebrating their old releases such as ‘Give Me What I Want’ and ‘Saturday’. Fact of the matter is, tonight, you just weren’t human if you weren’t immediately drawn in and bop-bop-bopping, to the ‘oh-oh-ohhhs’. The grand finale: ‘Matters at All’ was the perfect sentiment to the end of the night, with its summery feel much like Lostprophet’s (yes, again!) ‘Last summer’, which saw everyone get on down and bellow their lungs out, whilst their ‘goodnight’ send out went out to the fans following a deafening cheer from a climactic refrain.

In all honesty, I’ve never seen a crowd in The Sugarmill get so worked up. We were blessed with this visit from KIGH, with their infectious pop rock collection and their entertaining interjections; they could definitely rise to the challenge of picking up from where the Prophets lads dropped off at the peak of their career, and by witnessing them tonight, they could go above and beyond. C’est Mangnifique!

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