LIVE: Kid Kapichi @ Electric Ballroom, London

By Aaron Jackson

Hastings four-piece Kid Kapichi are fresh off a tour supporting UK giants Nothing But Thieves and still riding high off of the widespread acclaim of last year’s debut album ‘This Time Next Year’. Add in a blistering collaboration with politically-driven punk duo Bob Vylan in the form of the top-drawer single ‘New England’, it’s safe to say that this is a band with a blitzing momentum behind them. Described by vocalist/guitarist Jack Wilson as a “sort of” homecoming show, it was the UK capital’s turn to see just what this rising tour-de-force are capable of.

There was a fizzy buzz amongst the crowd that packed out the venue, largely thanks to supporting acts, King Nun and Hotel Lux, who both warmed the room up very capably. Most punters had presumably travelled to the Big Smoke itching for some loud music to shatter away the hump day cobwebs collected over the working day. No single band on the bill that night failed to deliver. Then, when their time came, Hastings four-piece Kid Kapichi took to the Electric Ballroom’s stage as if it were their own. What better way to honour the internationally celebrated holiday of May 4th than walking out to John Williams’ ‘Duel of the Fates’? The evening’s main attraction was off to a terrific start before they even struck their first note.

Wasting little to no time before launching into ‘Sardines’, the room was instantly whipped into a frenzy. Feeling music in the emotional sense is something that we can all experience in most settings but nothing will ever compare to the sensation of feeling music physically rattle your bones. This is something that can only be achieved when experiencing an artist play live, and Kid Kapichi’s trademark thumping instrumentation provided a pulse that beat through the chests of every single audience member.

In short, Kid Kapichi delivered a performance of a band with experience that extends far beyond the one full-length album they have under their belts. A testament to the quality of that album, it was the songs from said album – 2021’s ‘This Time Next Year’ – that were met with the most feverish of reactions from the crowd. The likes of ‘Working Man’s Town’ and ‘Lucky Ones’ boast choruses that are simply impossible to sing along to, and a special guest appearance from Izzy B Phillips of Black Honey on ‘Thugs’ provided yet another highlight.

Whether it was the choral efforts of the audience when singing along to the stripped-back ‘Party at Number 10’, or the more visceral response to Kid Kapichi’s best song to date ‘New England’, there was a sense of unity in the Electric Ballroom. Without dwelling on the matter, it harnessed an atmosphere in which most, if not everyone, was aligned. Sometimes tongue-in-cheek but always suitably scathing, Kid Kapichi’s address of British current affairs is crucial to their identity and cements their importance in the scene moving forward.

Old favourites ‘Revolver’, ‘2019’ and most notably ‘Death Dips’ were fond inclusions to the setlist demonstrating that, even amidst the widespread popularity of ‘This Time Next Year’, the band are keen not to distance themselves from the preceding tunes just yet. From the past to the future, Kid Kapichi even treated fans to a glimpse of what’s to come by rattling through a performance of brand new song ‘Rob The Supermarket’. Delivered with the same enthusiasm and proficiency as the rest of the set, the energy was easily reciprocated by the crowd and despite not knowing the lyrics from the off, by the last run of the chorus people were chanting along emphatically. The future looks bright.

Bowing out with the aptly titled ‘Violence’, Kid Kapichi exited the stage knowing that they had shown everyone in that venue that they belonged there and, further to this, that they have the world at their feet. A voice for the working class, Kid Kapichi’s music is sonic catharsis and their performance at London’s Electric Ballroom proved that they won’t be settling down any time soon.