Live: Kid Kapichi – Oporto, Leeds

I’ve always loved music to be dirty, pulsing and prepared to fight in the dust to the death, so when I discovered that Hastings based Kid Kapichi were supporting Calva Louise at that lovely little class Leeds mosh pit Oporto on a Tuesday evening, I decided I’d worry about what being at work might feel like on Wednesday on Wednesday. Life is far too short to miss a Kid Kapichi/Calva Louise double bill.

It’s a while since I’ve seen a support band receive such a rapacious reception; we were all grasping for more of Kid Kapichi’s brand of silky-sheer tight heavy rock and haunting psychobilly; even more so after the band gave the crowded audience their most excellent latest single 2019 before the bouncing Death Dips to close.

2019 is a deeply cynical look at the state of the world in our age, and how the young generation need to shake things up to create a more positive and equal society. It says volumes about the track and how on fire Kid Kapichi are now that although only released in January, 2019 is about to become the band’s most listened to track on Spotify.  

The music is deeply dark and rocking; if I were to stick my neck out I’d say that fans of Blinders, Slaves, Queens of the Stone Age and Royal Blood would hit gold with Kid Kapichi. During a brief chat where I waited for all the guys to sign my vinyl (had to be done) they explained the music scene in Hastings is so good and competitive they can’t afford to slouch. With a band like Slaves forming just up the road and having Hastings as their stomping ground they have a good point.

On record Kid Kapichi have style and an incisive observational social voice but live is their best habitat with the pulsing, thrusting and leading bass of Eddie Lewis and the hard tight drums of George MacDonald surging ahead. With the lead guitars and vocals of the front men (Jack Wilson and Ben Beetham) fighting with the back guys to the wire, there’s a delicious frantic punching urgency about the sound and it all coils together deliciously. The band have been building things up slowly since 2015 or so and the craft they have built up playing live while giving their souls produce that lush crisp sound. I had such a transfixed (OK slightly drunk) grin on my face that one of the tracks, Waster, was dedicated to me. If getting sweaty while I wash the trials of the week away from my mind makes me a waster I’m proud to hold that title for the evening. Track Puppet Strings has a nice slow haunted start and then those killer riffs kick in with the fury of the waves of an apoplectic sea.      

Sadly we missed the first Kid Kapichi song (ahem, getting a bit wasted on some tasty pre-gig Brew Dog up the road), and the track which confirmed we were witnessing something more than a little bit special was the track Revolver with its spaghetti western riff infused rockabilly vibe and the lyrics which adorn their t-shirt “Too Young To Die, But I’m Gonna Try” – I was tempted to buy one; at my age it would have been post ironic.    

Kid Kapichi and Calva Louise are good mates; it was clear Kid Kapichi had loads of love and respect for the headliners (and visa versa) and are having a great time on this tour which comes through in their performances. It goes without saying that anyone still to catch the remainder of the Calva Louise/Kid Kapichi tour must come to the gig early to catch this excellent wall of energy as it is something special to behold.

Chris R

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