This Is The Kit

This Is The Kit

– THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER –

What strikes me most about Kate Stables of This Is The Kit, is just how charismatic she is. Every person in The Deaf Institute here would love to be her friend. I want to be her friend. She effortlessly chats between songs. Tells jokes while tuning up. Bad ones, the ones that are bad but are still funny because they are bad, and that’s how she relates them. Whistles perfectly. Mockingly laughs at herself. She appears to be just as much in love with her music as she ever would have been. And seems genuinely appreciative of those that have come to see her perform. She deftly compares us to her recent Leicester audience, before coming to the conclusion that we are better than them. Of course we are. I don’t just want to be her friend, I would love to be her friend.

Performing alongside bassist and fellow singer/songwriter Rozi Plain, there are plenty of beautiful and effortless harmonies, that would seem so difficult to achieve but are made here to look completely easy. The camaraderie between Stables and her band members is unmistakable, they laugh between songs, rock out together while singing, and play songs off the cuff with everyone unaware of what’s coming next, it really is quite enchanting. The laid back feel to the gig is really something different to most gigs in such a good way, there are no showy outfits, stage settings, fancy lighting, or even awkward musings, just Kate Stables and the band in their slacks doing what they do best, and it really is that good. They don’t need to be showy, the accompanying brass section, the banjo, and the wondrous whistling will do that. Not only that but the appearance of tambourines at one point being strapped to Stables feet, brings on a rousing performance of ‘Cold and Got Colder’, that gets everyone tapping their feet.

Song-wise there are a lot of highlights, ‘Cold and Got Colder’ being one, others include ‘Magic Spell’, crowd-pleaser ‘Two Wooden Spoons’; dedicated to Henry and Gillian or Guylian, who turned out not to have been in the room. This produces the biggest unexpected giggle of the night as nobody speaks up, to confirm the correct pronunciation of their name when prompted to by Stables, who was quick to quip this. Then closer of the night ‘Bashed Out’, which gets the biggest opening cheer. The songs are simple yet beautiful folk music that just make you smile, and together with the intimacy of The Deaf Institute, just keep you enraptured in Stables’ good-natured spellbinding presence. Support from Andy Skellam with his baritone folk music complemented This Is The Kit no-end and set the night up nicely. An inspiring night, that felt shorter than it actually was, just down to the fact that this is a band that leaves you craving more and hoping they’ll come back soon.

And so it comes to an end. A completely fresh performance, from a rare gem of a band. Not as well-known as they should be, This Is The Kit is a band that is heralded by many in the music industry, but not played or heard as much as it should be in the streams of music constantly on the airwaves. They are talented, self-deprecating and a joy to watch. Really I would say this is one of the best surprises of my 2016 musical year. Profuse adoration aside, this is a band you should definitely go to see the next chance you get.

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Danielle Kenneally

Silent Radio enthusiast: Silent Radio News Editor. Silent Radio Newsletter Editor. Silent Radio Reviewer. Dangerous Panda over and out.