Calva Louise @ Night People (photo: Georgina Hull)


So when I rock up at Night People, Manchester, a venue filled with character, I find myself mildly disappointed by trying-too-hard-to-be-angsty, slightly pretentious, Radiohead wannabe support band Sugarstone, (who, I strongly believe are clinging onto the ‘moody band who haven’t slept in years’ bandwagon just for the trend of it) showing no sign of even a slither of passion on stage.

However, Calva Louise couldn’t have decided on a better second support band to hype up the crowd, Kid Kapichi, who left me utterly in awe- even if I was left partially deaf after their bewildering performance. Kid Kapichi are made up of what seems to be Charlie Steen’s (Shame) long-lost, yet somehow more pissed off brother on vocals and Isaac Holman’s (Slaves) cousin on bass- which, may I add is basically swinging at his knees he’s crouching so much. These two comparisons are fitting, as Kid Kapichi also have the post-punk energy that we all know and love, the type of energetic irritability that the majority of us can relate to during these times- thus further highlighted by their recently released single, ‘2019’.

Of course, without further ado, being introduced by the iconic Countdown theme tune, the Manchester based trio enthusiastically skip onto the too-small stage. Calva Louise open chronological style, playing their first released track, ‘I’m Gonna Do Well’. The track starts off with that sort of sinister, cartoon villainy atmosphere, which switches up to a more chirpy fashion as though the song is a dual narrative of hero and antihero. Which in theory, isn’t a bad thing, surprisingly it doesn’t make it unfocused or confusing. It lets us know that these guys are interesting.

Kid Kapichi @ Night People (photo: Georgina Hull)

Calva Louise couldn’t be described as anything but vibrant leading into their second track, ‘Outrageous’ which is positively rage ridden- rebellious to say the least. Sounding like the Ting Tings on speed, lead vocalist Jess has that revolt-inspiring voice, one that belongs to that of various activism showcases- the Pussy Riot manifesto is a perfect fit for this particular kind of voice. A lot of artists riding on the indie-grunge fence try to have that voice that just empowers people without even trying, but that’s the point – they’re trying too hard. I can safely say this is not the case with Calva Louise. They get you pumped and raring to go even throughout their so-called calmer songs.

This same empowered energy is carried through to their next song, and my personal favourite, ‘Tug Of War’- it’s one of those bops that doesn’t feel like it lasts long- you’re so hooked that it feels as though it lasts a second and then it’s over. The Manchester based trio definitely have a knack for creating audio addictions.

The whole gig feels as though it lasts 3 minutes, rather than the average hour-ish set, performing both songs from their recently released album, Rhinoceros, such as ‘I Heard A Cry’, ‘Wondertale’ and ‘Cruel Girl’, not to mention the exotic renditions of unreleased tracks, ‘Adelante’ and ‘Beliscoso’ sung almost seductively in Spanish – you don’t see that a lot in the Manchester indie scene nowadays – by Jess, who is heart-warmingly humble through the set. In fact, both Ben and Alizon on guitar and drums, you can tell they’re so absorbed in this world, they love it. It’s as though they’re kids in a candy shop – and honestly it would be totally okay for them, since they put so much energy into their shows, I think it would be justifiable if they wanted to act conceited as people. But they don’t, their non-performing persona is down to earth and genuine.

They finish their set with a mind-blowingly mental track, I believe the one this very mixed but moshy crowd has been waiting for: ‘Getting Closer’. Honestly if I go deaf right now, it’s fine, I can deal with it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But before they disappear off to the merch stand, they surprise us with an oldie yet goldie, “a track we always used to open with when we first started out”. You old fans will know this one, but for the rest of you, you’ll just have to go and watch them to find out how it goes. I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules- just enforce them.

But seriously, Calva Louise are definitely one of the most eccentric acts I’ve seen so far, if you can’t go see them, the least you can do is stream them.

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