Kashmere – live at Deaf Institute

-DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER-

As our charge towards the future shows no signs of slowing down, I expect more stories to begin this way, but as it is, tonight is the first time I’m going to see a band having been introduced to them by Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist. Back then there were two EPs available, but in the time since, Otherkin have released their debut album, OK.

Support for the show tonight comes from Kashmere, a band from “sunny Stockport”. After what feels like a long time standing on stage without starting to play, they kick off the show with last year’s debut single ‘Blow Your Mind’. That’s the first of a seven track set, which while well-delivered never really gets the crowd going, despite frontman Joey Newey’s best efforts. The closest he comes to getting the crowd moving is for penultimate song, and latest single, ‘Hoxton’, starting the track with the rallying call “start dancing, come on”. It almost works, a few feet shuffle and a few heads nod, but not with the ferocity I’m sure he’s hoping for. They close the set with their single from earlier this year ‘Porcelain’, which is the song I enjoy most of the seven.

Otherkin‘s arrival on stage is explosive from the start, they start with a pounding bass drum shaking the Deaf Institute’s floor. Once all the instruments are present they rip through opener ‘Bad Advice’. The band look up for it tonight, the opening night of their album tour. As second song ‘I Was Born’ begins, frontman Luke Reilly jumps up onto the bass drum, but clearly too vigorously as his guitar cuts out. Moments later the sound is back and with no loss of momentum they continue tearing through the songs from their album. After ‘Treat Me So Bad’ and the undeniably britpop influenced ‘Come On, Hello’, which I’d have no problem believing was originally released in the mid-nineties, ‘Feel It’, my favourite track from the album is up, with David Anthony’s bass taking prime spot to launch the song.

Otherkin – live at Deaf Institute

Keeping the pace high, the songs keep coming with gusto. “We’re going to take it down a notch or two” says Reilly to introduce ‘Enabler’. Now I’m not sure if that was a joke or not, but I certainly don’t notice any drop in enthusiasm, tempo or volume. The first, and as it turned out only, track in the set list that isn’t on the album is ‘Hardcore’. Reilly ventures from the stage during it, and after unwrapping his microphone from the stand his destination is not the floor, but the bar. As he wanders up the bar, in the crowd we duck to avoid the freshly unwrapped cable. He’s not on the bar too long before he insists a circle pit forms and he gets himself into the middle of that circle to continue singing the song. Before the song is out Reilly is cornered by security who insist he gets back on stage immediately. I’m not sure who security were protecting there, it wasn’t the band and it wasn’t the audience, who were all enjoying the spectacle.

On returning to the stage Reilly announces “we’ve got a few more then we’ll fuck off, security will like that”. They play ‘Ay Ay’ next, with all band members remaining on the stage for the whole song, but ‘Yeah, I Know’ comes in its wake and Reilly is once again out in the crowd, this time with his guitar. One more track to come, ‘So So’, which in contrast to the rest of the set feels fairly epic. It finishes the debut album well, and has the same effect for this live show.

Thirteen songs and 48 minutes after it begun, it was over all too quickly. I don’t know if I could ask any more, they played the entire album and threw in another track for good measure, but I would have quite happily stood through another 48 minutes.

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Adam Smith

There is nothing I'd rather be doing with my evenings than watching excellently crafted live music. In fact, there isn't much I'd rather be doing than watching half-decent live music. Having too often seen excellent bands fail to garner the attention I believe they deserve, I'm here to spread the good word of the under-appreciated musical performer. I encourage everyone who is reading this to do the same.