Bath blues kids rocking it
Merc Live: Kill it Kid live by Marc Sethi

There was a serious tone in the air as Merc Live descended on Gibson Guitar Studios for it’s fifth, penultimate instalment. Even the humorous manner in which the ceiling fans continuously blew back each band members hair like a 90’s Salon Selectives advert couldn’t detract from the intent aura surrounding Kill It Kid’s arrival on stage. The returning blues-rock four piece were there to play hard, and the intensity was contagious.

You’d have to total the ages of each band member to even get close to the 1930s, yet these four demonstrate a powerful wielding of a century-old Mississippi Delta blues sound. And that sound was utilized instantly, as the passionate, sampled ramblings of a preacher wailed out through the venue. Lead singer Chris Turpin swung fingers past guitar and cut into the sample, before bellowing out the vocal chord shredding opening lines of ‘Heart Rested’, with a gritty yell that exceeds his adolescent years twice over.

The anticipation of the crowd was answered as the band aired a run of new material. ‘Dirty Water’ and ‘Pray On Me’ were relentlessly raucous, as vocals fluttered and interchanged, and the eventual isolated voice of pianist Steph Ward rang out emphatically, with forlorn lyrics of lovers desperation and forbidden temptations. With this, the tempo snowballed. Turpin marauded around the stage, switching guitars frequently to wrench the sweetest tones from each, before laying them gently back on the stage floor, like a sleeping child.

Forty minutes without respite, until a thudding kick-drum stomp heralded the end of the night with a spirited version of ‘Feet Fall Heavy’. Though they hail from Bath, and this gig was in London, from set start to finish, Kill It Kid drenched Gibson Guitar studios in an aural mirage of the vibrant, wrenching sounds of a pre-war Deep South. You could smell the moonshine.

Words by Joe Zadeh
Photo by Marc Sethi

View a full photo gallery from the gig HERE.

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