kills-interview

The Kills

– THE ALBERT HALL, MANCHESTER –

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 different music from House to Heavy Metal depending on how old I was, what I was doing at the time and the kind of people I was hanging out with. So I can safely say I am open to most things as long as it’s good but obviously that is entirely subjective and open to interpretation, which I guess is what Silent Radio is all about. However, I would say that overall my alliances lie with Electronic Music because it covers so many genres and is constantly developing and changing. Having just returned from Sonar I felt a warm glow being surrounded by so many people who appreciate Electronic Music but there were times when I became a little jaded and questioned its integrity especially after seeing Katy B perform for the 3RD TIME! Will Katy B still be remembered in six years? I doubt it. But I guess that is the nature of Pop Music in particular; some stand the test of time, some don't. I think having grown up and lived in Manchester my musical tastes have been influenced by the club scene post- hacienda and the music at nights like Electric Chair which encompasses the sounds of House, Detroit Techno, Disco, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop. Basically anything with a groove, I like. But this is not confined to Dance Music I particularly like bands that are melodic and have a hook such as Wild Beasts, music that captures an emotion and has a heart. While at University I was also listening to music that didn’t really have much of a heart but more of a pacemaker in terms of the emotion it conveyed and that was Electro-Clash, a completely non- sensical and at times ridiculous genre that borrowed elements from House, Italio Disco and Techno and re- formed them in to one fun, but ridiculous package. While at University, I had my own radio Show where I tried to convey some of my musical tastes acquired from up north and had guest DJ's from a night in New Cross called Zombie Disco, with Jamie from Zombie Disco now working with Lindstrom. We also borrowed the services of Rina from Ladytron who had a guest DJ slot. Anyhow, I think it is safe to say I like a wide range of music apart from Katy B, sorry Katy.