In they come two by two, one by one, suits, jeans, T-shirts, skirts, trousers, hats, beanies, a constant stream of bodies packing in to watch Kill It Kid (KIK) at the Oslo, Hackney, London, on a wet Monday night.

Beforehand there is a tangible tingling of excitement, more edginess about the place, an anticipation of events about to unfold. I felt as if everyone knew a secret, except me. Yes, I am in virgin territory, viewing KIK.

Their third and latest studio album, 'You Owe Nothing', is a step up in maturity, range and musical development from 'Feet Fall Heavy' (2011). To some degree the new album is a continuation of direction. Gone are the banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitars. Its tempo confirms the change of style, an alignment to festival audiences. A change of label, from One Little Indian to Warner/Sire Records. More significantly the involvement of Seymour Stein, legendary for his business acumen in the music industry.

That’s the background on personnel changes and new studio album. Now do they cut it live?

As with most bands, do they start with a first song warm-up,a gentle introduction? Not a chance, they kick off with 'High Class', guitars sparking from the off. Maximum revs, don’t even think about cruise control. The audience are already playing catch up.

This gig is a raw, gritty, a wall-to-wall of sound infused with Zeppelin/Plant lead vocals from Chris Turpin throughout. Stephanie Ward on vocals and keyboards offers a depth to her vocal range, which simply wasn’t there on previous albums. Whilst some of the softer tempo tracks have always been in her comfort zone, she now makes a statement with each song. This girl can rock a packed audience.

Kill It Kid are a four piece, what? Title this band at your peril. Indie, grunge, blues? Full on, taking no prisoners would be a good start point.

What KIK do superbly well tonight (maybe even the tour) is to get the set absolutely right. Producer Julian Raymond’s steady hand on the tiller is apparent, as the band navigate uncharted musical waters. Marc Jones (drums) and Dom Kozubik (bass guitar) confirm what skilled musicians they are in their own right, always keeping the pace and rhythm absolutely bang on the beat as in the excellent 'Wild and Wasted Waters'.

Currently 'Caroline' is their signature track from 'You Owe Nothing'. “Come on treat me mean/Caroline, Caroline, abuse me and never treat me kind.” This live rendition has all the mellowness sucked out. Turpin's raucous gravel of a voice collides with Ward's softer tones. Here is a tapestry of clothes being torn off as the passion takes over, soft, gentle kisses long gone. Yes, it’s a love song; more importantly, it’s a beast of a production.

Turpin yells out, “Thanks for making this a sell out gig.” Yep, a sell out it is, and on this performance it’s no surprise.

'Blood Stop and Run' is handled with sultry aplomb by Ward on vocals, epitomising the band's edginess and confidence. Try calling this anything else but hard core rock.

'Law of Love' is the first of a two song encore, and serves as a perfect reminder, just in case you’ve forgotten they can put together a mean ballad. It’s just Ward and Turpin on stage for this one, all harmonies and reflective key changes...Not for long.

They close with 'I’ll Be the First'. It’s hand clapping, guitar riffs, pauses, then pounding percussion from Jones, with Kozubik superb in pacing the riot taking place in front of them.

What I like about KIK is that they are a band, not four individuals off on their own musical tour. Whilst Ward and Turpin front the band with real ownership and purpose, visually and vocally, it’s Jones and Kozubik who are at the hub of their continued renaissance.

Turpin tells the gathered brethren of the small thank you gifts they’ve received on this tour from the likes of Germany, Poland, a bottle of whiskey from Glasgow etc. What do they get from Hackney? Two tubs of jellied eels, rock and roll.

Not to worry! With this level of energy and performance, their musical awards will be somewhat more significant in the future.

The album is excellent, live they move to a far higher level.If you get the chance, catch Kill It Kid live.











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