Live: Kashmere – Lending Room, Leeds

Fortunately for us impatient types there wasn’t long to wait. The first of the 2018 released Kashmere tracks Codeine came up second in the set list and the guys nailed it. A little later along came the second 2018 tune, Toyko, where the boys gave it a similar guitar heavy, reverb strong live rebranding. I had suspected both tracks were going to be Kashmere live bangers and so it was proved on this recent live showing at the Leeds Lending Rooms. Anyone with the slightest worry that our Stockport lads were developing a softer spot need not fret.

Before Kashmere stormed the stage, we caught most of the set from one of the support bands; York’s Pura Vida. Heavily tipped by H2N editor Adam, we were struck by the strong sound of the three piece and in particular Tom Hogan’s tuneful voice. Recent track Sway offered a great example of the band with their simple but hugely effective indie sound. Pura Vida are the heirs of those excellent jangling mid 80’s indie bands; and in my book loud, strong and tight make for a memorable performance. Pura Vida are a band stored in my memory banks for further exploration.

Headlining Kashmere brought forth both sheer quality and a sense of cool swagger to the stage. I defy anyone to look cooler on stage than lead guitarist Charlie Cole with his slouch, curls, leather and boots. Meanwhile lead singer Joey Newey has a perfect rock voice, tattoos and poise on his side, while the bass and drums of Freddie Hughes and Andy Law have a perfect synergy, plenty of muscle and a sense of timing which makes the whole lot hang together. Between the four of them there’s a strong flawless sound and it seemed somewhat incongruous for a comparatively small venue to sound like a massive stadium.

The track Hoxton’s been around a little while but Kashmere’s live timing on the halting riffs of last summer’s fun track was perfect; live it feels like a pulsing hurricane running through your ears. I just love the power of the two guitars, bass and drums and Hoxton is just one of a number of Kashmere tracks to guarantee to leave me grinning like a cat. Another thing that had me smiling was the surprise in the band when they realised the audience weren’t going to let them go without an encore; while the band have poise and confidence in spades they are not ones to take anything for granted. A hurried conversation brought a return for the magnificent Hoxton for another perfect airing.

Kashmere have just come to the end of a short national tour so it may be a little wait to catch them live again. The band intend to slowly build up the intensity and on this showing they are burning it brightly. If you missed Kashmere live make up for it a little by taking a listen to the majesty that is Toyko at You Tube.

Chris R

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