The Kills


So The Kills have a similar name to The Killers which is confusing especially as they were making music around the same time, but The Kills are way cooler by virtue of many things including their line- up, a guy and a girl, the fact that the guitarist Jamie Hince was married to Kate Moss and of course their sound.

Search any search engine and it will tell you The Kills are a Garage Rock/Blues hybrid but I’m not entirely sure I know what that is so I will just go for Lo-Fi. But put simply for most people, they sum up the rock sound of the early naughties: stripped back, petulant and full of attitude. This, of course is not entirely new, but certainly a break from the Britpop sound of the 90’s.

The Kills were residents of London in the early naughties, as was I and they frequented Erol Alkan’s no de- funct club night, Trash, as did I.  These facts alone make me feel compelled to go and see what they have to offer in 2016 despite having not purchased anything of theirs since 2008’s Midnight Boom.

A quick scan of the people assembled at The Albert Hall would suggest they were all of drinking age by 2001 and it seems I may not be the only person taking a nostalgia trip. Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince enter the stage to a warm welcome. Mosshart is clutching a pint of beer and Hince a guitar, which is lucky considering he trapped his playing hand in a car door earlier this year.

The duo, are accompanied this time by a second guitarist/ keyboardist and a drummer which I consider a wise move in such a large space as the Albert Hall. The strength of Hince and Mosshart’s dynamism is not in doubt but there is stripped back and then there’s just going naked.

To enliven the crowd they perform a couple of songs from their early albums including the highly enjoyable stomper ‘URA Fever’ before moving on to ‘Long Time Coming’ from their new album Ash and Ice. There is only one way to enjoy their sound and that’s on your feet. My friend and I are in the seated section but soon have to join the standers as the energy in the Hall increases.

What the performance encapsulated for me is how much the sound of The Kills hinges on a perfectly pitched attitude and how much of that responsibility falls on the wee shoulders of Alison Mosshart as Hince is often far too caught up in his elaborate guitar work.

Mosshart has stage presence by the bucketload and with the back- up of a band they keep everyone interested. But this isn’t an immersive experience in as much as the audience have to have the right attitude too which, I don’t, always have.  But the standing crowd (and most of the seated) bring ‘it’ to the point where a serious, beer spilling mosh pit ensues towards the end of the show.

Before Hince and Mosshart leave the stage they make a point of bowing alongside their newly added band members proving that although attitude is all, sometimes you do need a little help from your friends.

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When people ask me what music I am in to, I find it very hard to give a definitive answer because, throughout my life I have been in to all kinds of music from House to Heavy Metal. So I can safely say I am open to most things however, I would say that overall my allegiances lie with Electronic music because it covers so many genres and is constantly developing and changing. Having grown up in Manchester my musical tastes have been influenced by nights such as Electric Chair and Mr Scruff which encompasses the sounds of House, Detroit Techno, Disco, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop. As far as bands are concerned, I particularly like bands that are melodic and have a hook and a heart such as Wild Beasts. While living in London in the early noughties, I was also listening to music that didn’t really have a heart, more of a pacemaker. I was listening to Electroclash at nights such as Erol Alkan’s, Trash. I love writing about music and believe you can be honest about why you don’t like something without being disrespectful, a skill I am still learning in real life! But ultimately I understand that music needs to be experienced first, rather than intellectualised but why do one, when you can do both?