January doesn’t bring with it many highlights, however; you can sometimes be fortunate to have a wintery night out listening to some outstanding music. Yet only half of this proved to be true as, what turned out to be a mild January evening saw the presence of the captivating This Is The Kit appearing at Telford’s Warehouse in Chester.
Now touring with their third record, This Is The Kit (stage name of front woman Kate Stables) have long been on the radars of many and have enjoyed a number of years worth of airtime on such stations as BBC Radio 6Music, with high praise from each and every presenter to have played one of their tracks. 2015 proved to be their most significant year yet however with further critical acclaim and more prominent appearances on the radio.
The year also saw the release of the aforementioned third record: Bashed Out, to nothing but more commendation as the band easily cemented themselves as a favourite to many. This was clear to see in the packed out Warehouse in which the crowd gathered for an evening of indulgence in the sounds that have made This Is The Kit as appealing as ever.
Though first to take to the stage was support band Campfire Social, a name which appeared familiar to the brain, yet an act sure to be remembered if one ever came across their music. Songs played are full of twists and turns, striking guitar work with melodies and harmonies that will be ingrained in your head.
Described on their social pages as an ‘alt-folk / sunshine-pop outfit’, no other description could do the band justice. Though their ability to also pull out a few more poignant and touching tunes (displayed visually in one band members’ teary eyes), creates a flexible and impressive support set.
While a previous Seafront featured band in Francois and the Atlas Mountains played on the speakers, a relatively quick change around takes place. Despite this we come to learn later that the stage set up might have been a little longer due to some car issues which saw the band reach the venue a little later than hoped (seemingly not the first time this has happened on tour either!). Then, after what was commended by singer Stables as the quickest turn around and set up, the wait was over as she and the band took to the stage.
Understandably, the latest release (Bashed Out) enjoyed a considerable portion of the set list and sounded sublime on stage as so on record. Kate’s vocals are delicate yet her abilities and range are clear to see as each line sung seems considered, all to give the best possible performance.
Something else that was taken away from the evening was how rare it is to see a performer smile so much while on stage, yet the band’s presence and the cosy nature of the venue make this feel like a very comfortable gig for all and the only thing to make the evening better would be some sort of cradled armchair to see the night through.
Those who have listened to Bashed Out will have noticed the additional guitar work, unique to the stage performances and which presented a number of fresh sounds backing the songs that have long been repeated through speakers since the album’s release. This all came together to create an atmosphere within which the audience just couldn’t help but tap or sway along, even whilst sat down. Any locals coming for simply a night of music surely left with as a fan and likely with an album or two in hand.
After the gig I catch a word with drummer Jamie and bassist Rozi (who herself released one of the stand-out albums of 2015, titled Friend.) They’re in a positive mood as we chat about their journey to Cambridge for the next day’s gig, football illustrators and the current distance to Wales, all within a few minutes.
We also discuss the band’s schedule for the next few months, which is mapped out in front of them as they continue a run of shows in the UK and France before a much-anticipated performance in Bristol as part of the BBC Radio 6Music Festival. There’s appearances around the UK again in the spring months before what we’re sure will be a busy summer, likely appearing at a festival near you.
A somewhat expected outcome of being one of the most highly regarded bands around.
You can find out more about This Is The Kit and their upcoming tour dates by visiting their website here as well as searching This Is The Kit on all social platforms.