Monday, 4 April 2011

Kid British / The Wildfires @ The Underground 2nd April 2011

Review by James Drakeford

Image courtesy of Kid British

Kid British have already played most of the big venues in Stoke. The Mancunian band have sold out the Sugar Mill twice, played both Staffordshire and Keele University Student Union bars, and they were also in town for Love Music Hate Racism festival at Britannia Stadium back in 2009. It’s no surprise that band member Simeon McLean described Stoke as one of their ‘hot spots’ before telling me “we love Stoke, it’s mint.”

This time the lads were up at the Underground. First thing that stood out was the swarms of yellow wristbands (for those of you that don’t know, and to save you from a potential minefield in the future, these are wristbands for under-18’s).

I began to witness the positives of a young crowd instantly. The eager teens were full of beans and created a good atmosphere as they had piled into the venue well before the first act Blunder Bus Benefit was up. By the time Blunder Bus Benefit plodded along steadily through their brand of generic indie it was the perfect time to head to the bar. It was here where positive point #2 comes into play; no queue! Winning.

Local band The Wildfires were up next, and they got the crowd moving. Crowd pleasers ‘Away With You’ and ‘My Place’ had an afternoon in the sun at a summer festival feel to it, and I would happily bask in the sun sipping on a Pimms and Lemonade watching them should they ever succeed in that. In the build up to Kid British we had hits from 2-Tone, Motown, and The Jam. If you mix all three together it would give you a good indicator of what we were about to hear. By the time we heard the opening line ‘I need a job that’s part time’ the crowd had already descended into a mosh pit.

Since last attending a Kid British show in 2010 the boys have been busy in the recording studio. Back in February they teased us with some new material by releasing a free EP called Northern Stories, whilst also completing their self titled full debut album. This added extra excitement to the gig. Not only would we be hearing new tracks such as ‘Social Network’ and ‘Bailiff’ in full for the first time, but we would be seeing new songs from the EP live which we have had two months to grow on us and sing along to.

Their free to download track ‘Northern Quarter’ was the first up out of their new additions. It’s fair to say it was well received, and I’m pretty sure that all the fans have been listening to this one well in advance. Onto the new album, the reggae beats to the catchy story about bailiffs turning up at singer Adio Marchant’s door, was impossible not to move your feet to.

As well as the new stuff, we were treated to a bit of modern day madness with a full band version of hit single ‘Our House is Dadless’. Instead of sampling Suggs’ and co. the live instruments definitely gave a more unique feel than the recorded version of this social commentary.

Throughout the set it became apparent that the Underground is the kind of environment that Kid British like to find themselves in. With little to no barrier between them and the fans they were able to interact with the crowd, shake their hands, and even take pictures with their cameras for them mid-song. The band finished on ‘Elizabeth’, but nobody was ready for the night to end just yet, and the expected encore swiftly followed. Summer-anthem ‘Sunny Days’ was next up before the band ended the Saturday night (or perhaps, started it?) with ‘Let’s have a Party’ before leaving stage with crowd still in full song.

After opening with a song about wanting to work a ‘Part Time Job’, it was quite fitting that the first song on the speakers after the set finished was Lady Sovereign’s 9-5. Before that song had finished though, The Underground was empty again, and everyone had gone home happy.

No comments: