Live Reviews

LIVE REVIEW: Kid Kapichi, SNAYX, Monakis, KOKO, London 03/02/2023

Photo Credit: Jack Delve

This tour is almost hauntingly perfect in its timing. There’s probably a movie hiding somewhere in a vault where a cynical, exploitative music executive engineers this exact situation as an act of controlled, commodified rebellion: a politically aware and strident band touring during a period where a large chunk of public sector workers are either on or about to strike. If this tour had been named The “Fuck The Tories” Roadshow, nobody would have batted an eye.

Opening tonight’s proceedings were Brighton trio Monakis who ripped through a tight, taut set inspiring a small but very active mosh pit. The band are a memorable mix of a very English flavour of punk, but one that spent its summers in the Seattle metropolitan area, if one catches the drift. Not remotely overawed by the size of the show, or crowd, the trio rattled through a short but sweet set very in keeping with what was to follow. The band acquits themselves well and will surely improve even more. Fake News was a particularly fun romp of a song. 7/10

SNAYX followed, and from the outset it was very clear they were here to seize an opportunity to make a hell of a lot of new friends in North London. A set that started strong and only got stronger, the band going from confident to positively strutting round the stage like they put down a sizeable deposit on it. The crowd responded in kind, and the repeated visits to the floor from front man Charlie Herridge were lapped up by the excited crowd. Work in particular is a riotously enjoyable tune that would fit very smoothly on radio, its lyrics being the sort of thing that’s painfully relatable to large swathes of the crowd. The Vengaboys sample drew a bigger pop than most bands will ever draw in their whole career (and who are we to argue with the enduring power of the Vengaboys) and SNAYX also found a bit of time to cover Doorman by slowthai. A small, but highly dedicated mass were pogoing and moshing the entire set like it was the last time they ever would. With enough energy to power a reasonably large shopping centre, ably bolstered in the live setting by Elaina Nixon on drums, who made their job look like the easiest thing since one-click shopping, SNAYX brought everything you’d want from a support slot like this. Highly enjoyable. Do keep an eye and ear out if you aren’t already. 8/10

It should be illegal to be able to play highly infectious and lyrically contagious bangers like 5 days on (2 days off) as an opener, but Kid Kapichi have chosen the way of the vicious, lyrically potent banger. It is a ridiculously good way to start a show, setting the tone for a joyous set fuelled in no small part by at this point thoroughly excited, and fully warmed up crowd. Working Man’s Town follows and the energy remains high. I.N.V.U has a swagger that would make anyone walk through a town like William the Conqueror, and how it hasn’t become a radio staple is, like the impeccably cutting New England, just another indictment of broken Britain. Bassist Eddie Lewis prowls around the stage during this one like he’s about to feast on a banquet of Tory tears.

The completely expected chant of Fuck The Tories was a really cheering moment where 1400 people came together to share their frustration at a government that stands antithetical to every single one of their core values. Like a prompt bus, everyone was happy when it arrived. Party At No. 10, a song written in the immediate aftermath of the unveiling of the partygate scandal, may already seem like a song about a faraway regime given the multiple Prime Minister’s since, but its wider lyrical points about “don’t get excited, you’re not invited” and “one rule for you, and another for them” have the resonance to keep this song in the setlist for some time to come. It also helps when the entire crowd is singing it like it’s a two for one drinks night at the karaoke bar, as they want to do with every single lyric tonight. Frontman Ben Beetham’s charming dances and small steps are delivered with all the confidence of a man who knows exactly who he is, and he is revelling in it.

The encore, which mercifully was acknowledged as a pretend encore (other bands please do this) brought us a seismic version of Smash The Gaff that sounded like it was about to do just that to the recently refurbished KOKO, and the show was closed with a song from one of their earlier EP’s, Death Dips. This really was one of those shows that you’d want to be with all your friends to enjoy, bellowing every lyric like it’s more important than anything else in your life, and damn the consequences the next day for not doing a proper vocal warm up.  Throughout the show, all four members of the band are clearly loving every second and the crowd knows it and feeds off that energy. Beetham even says it’s the best gig they’ve ever played….but everyone in the audience knows that even more is sure to come from this rapidly rising band. Fists were pumped, pits were moshed and gaffs (metaphorically) were smashed. All in all, a joyous and uplifting affair from three coastal acts, the exact tonic this audience was looking for in these troubling times. 9/10

Written by: Louis Tsangarides

Photo Credit: Jack Delve