Archive for the ‘Live Review’ Category

Written for PORTSMOUTH NEWS.

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Lissie (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Removing electricity from rock to leave behind only the voices and guitars, beckons assumptions that only a raw, atmospheric gloom will remain. On her acoustic tour, Lissie backs this up at least to begin with, during the profane ‘Shameless’ – its erratic rhythm built from knocking on the wood of her guitar.

Her chaotic movement escalate from tapping to stomping during ‘Further Away’, and while ‘Sun Keeps Risin’’ might normally be peacefully layered, its lost volume is compensated for by impressive belting. It is all a great twist on the country singer’s repertoire.

However, the the mood quickly takes a turn. Proposing a toast, wine aloft, Lissie seems to be the friendliest soloist around. With a beaming grin, she tells fans how she holds the UK dear, having found her international break here. Now an independent musician, she feels that she has a “cozy old friendship” with everyone.

The fans clearly agree when they are drawn in to discuss roast dinner and Lissie’s nastiest tour story of her guitar smelling unusual. Brilliantly, tonight feels as much like a performance as it does a Sunday evening family get-together.


 

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Kunt and the Gang (Photo by Sean Taylor Photography)

“After years of songs about wanking, I was ready to stop a few years ago. But then, my guardian angel came one night.” 

Kunt, lone member of Kunt and the Gang abrasively reminisces, until he reveals a puppet of the saviour that opened more doors – Jimmy Savile, who gets the biggest cheer that he’s had in years, and ever will do.

However, Kunt says that that wall has been hit once again, and after a thirteen-year reign of hilarious smut, Kunt and the Gang will be no more following his farewell tour. Tonight at the sold-out Southampton Firehouse, Kunt stages his penultimate performance, as he reaches the end of The Final Kuntdown.

That is not to say that the occasion comes across as very ceremonious, as the stage is bare beside Kunt and his MP3 player, which will be his ‘live’ band tonight. Kunt shamelessly bobs up and down, with an additional odd mischievous wink at the audience. It’s ridiculous enough that half of the vocals during ‘Jimmy Savile and the Sexy Kids’ consist of Kunt holding a mic to the puppet, while pre-recorded vocals are reeled off by an iPod.

It’s not like the outrageously noisy crowd care much. In fact, nobody seems to have a care in the world, as Kunt and the Gang functions to alienate fans from any judgement outdoors at the end of the day and let them scream whatever they please, with emphasis of course on the words “fuck”, “cunt” and “wank”, of course. After hundreds of shows, even Kunt seems blown away during the audience’s practice session of singing next song ‘Fucksticks’: “That was really… fucking impressive.” 

It is only fitting that the ninety-second long ‘It’s Just a Butterfly’ begins solemnly as Kunt mourns at a funeral, only to throw a filthy tantrum when his friend’s reflections get a bit too melodramatic. Every so often, Kunt reflects upon his past, but it really goes to show what tonight’s attitude is, as he can’t hold on to sentimentality for long. He admits that most of his songs are ripped off from the Blankety Blank theme tune, and can say it on his road to retirement because he doesn’t have to face the consequences. A nostalgic reflection on his long-time crush Carol Vorderman (“Carol’s really beautiful, and really good at sums…”) didn’t take long to descend to “I’d like to put my willy in her noonie or her bum.”

After the first chorus of stomach-and-womb-turning ditty ‘The Abortion Song’ Kunt explains the matter perfectly: “It’s only been thirty-eight seconds. Feels longer doesn’t it?”. Bear in mind that this show is twenty-two songs long. Long enough that it has an interval.

For that reason, one would think that the novelty and comedy of Kunt and the Gang would be exhausted in minutes, but tonight genuinely feels like a definitive montage of the last thirteen years. After closing on infamous ode to those who have not abused children, and still manages to channel dirt, with ‘The Wrong Ian Watkins’ (the only song tonight to feature an instrumentalist – support act Mike Gibbons on his acoustic guitar), Kunt makes his irritating but intriguing “See you in a couple of years when I’m skint!”

Kunt had earlier stated that a technical hitch during opener ‘Penis Extension’ was meant to “lower your expectations tonight”. It seems that he needn’t have bothered. The sold out Firehouse knew exactly what to expect, and by the sounds of things, wouldn’t mind hearing exactly the same thing again. Same time next year, Kunt?


BONUS: Why tonight will be held very dear.

Written for PORTSMOUTH NEWS. Printed in the Monday 17th October issue, and uploaded on The News website.


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Photo by Paul Windsor

Welsh rockers Feeder open their first visit to Portsmouth in four years in a surprisingly downbeat mood, bizarrely choosing to open with the gloomy new album closer ‘Another Day on Earth’. They continue with the much angrier Universe of Life. Though, as it is another track from their week-old ninth album, All Bright Electric, which many are unfamiliar with, there is an awkward stillness.

However, this dark attitude isn’t to last, and everything picks up when Feeder unleash their arsenal of singles – from the quick-paced ‘Lost and Found’ to breakthrough hit ‘Buck Rogers’, via early anthem ‘High’. Before a powerful, extended version of new track ‘Geezer’, frontman Grant Nicholas reflects upon how they hold Portsmouth dear: “We’ve had some great mosh pits here in the past. Don’t let us down.”

Nobody, not Feeder nor the fans, are let down.

As the main set finishes, everyone is singing encore mainstay ‘Just a Day’ before Feeder even return to the stage. Grant reveals that tonight is the final night of an ‘album chart week’, with sales counting towards their place in next week’s charts. “It would be nice to beat Craig David. Not that I have anything against Craig David”. His alternation between loud competition and friendliness defines tonight. With every quiet moment, is a humble, thankful grin from the band.