LIVE: Kid Kapichi / SNAYX @ KOKO

By Jess McCarrick

KOKO is a gilded extravaganza, decadent in all its refurbished glory; it provided the perfect dichotomy to punky night that it bore witness to.

SNAYX were undoubtedly a great undercard to set the tone for the evening. Their sometimes-muddy sounding recorded work was outshone greatly by their live counterparts. Frantic guitar with powerfully melodic drumming came together in a succinct way – telling of a band who favour the live setting. They covered Slowthai’s ‘Doorman’ – an energetic and raw track lyrically that translated well into a new genre – it seemed to fit the rugged characters of SNAYX rather well. Their final song was met with the push back of the pit opening, which was immediately vetoed by the magnetic frontman Charlie Herridge who favoured instead everyone pulling forward and getting the crowd to jump in unison to the beat of upbeat song ‘Fayx’. This became a core moment of the night, one in which everyone in the room could enjoy the rush of a surging crowd, without being alienated by the harshness a pit can create. By the end of the set, the crowd was flushed and full of energy – SNAYX no doubt gained a room full of new fans.

The dull hum of a droning amp hinted at the beginnings of the show, added to this was a clock-like ticking that accompanied Kid Kapichi as they strolled on stage – looking the part. Frontman Jack Wilson donned a fedora style hat and modern suit that was ironic giving the ticking that soon turned into the first beats of the infamous ‘5 Days On (2 Days Off)’. The crowd bellowed back to the band with an eager malice that was telling that we all have the same experience as the song details. The glitzy ‘Glitterati’ and classic ‘Fomo Sapiens’ soon followed with the former’s showy lyricism at home in venue it filled.

What punk gig (or any gig these days) isn’t a host to a chant of “fuck the tories” at some point? This was met with drummer George Macdonald eagerly backing the screams with a solid drum beat that was met by the jovial laughter of his bandmates, clearly enjoying the improvised moment. Ballad ‘Party at Number 10’ followed this moment and for a single song, the crowd was still, singing along with a disturbing calmness to the bitter pill it makes you swallow.

The crowd was enthralled and totally animalistic as it heaved around the floor of the venue. There was no designated pit – it overtook the entirety of the crowd. This was encompassed most with song ‘Violence’ – it’s playful lyrics “Violence is never the answer – unless it is” matched the feeling in the room and the looks on the faces of many. This lyric erupts into a brutal guitar riff that echoed with certainty around the room.

You have to hand it to KOKO as well, the sound quality is second to none amongst venues of a similar size. Perhaps due to the acoustics or the new refurb, or attention to detail of the sound crew, but no moment was too small to capture. Each note and the tone and force behind it was audible with a crystal distinction. This emphasised the musical talent of the foursome, who are perhaps known best for their proactive and political lyricism, but this show seemed to be about just as much the instrumentation – a refreshing look at the band. Bass player Eddie Lewis was a highlight, he danced around with a charming edge seeming to get funky to every note he played, toying with the crowd as he went.

They finished the set with an encore of ‘Smash the Gaff’ and the long awaited crowd favourite ‘Death Dips’. It was a duo to behold, and a fantastical way to end of physically gruelling set. What little energy the crowd had left was thrust into these final songs as the sea of people once more became a pit of emotion not to be mistaken for rage – but for passion. Kid Kapichi ignite something in their listeners – never more than in a live setting and let’s hope that this fire never goes out.