Whether it was the reoccurring voice of schizoid youth gasping out of each song, or the hypnotic effects of such a stunningly arranged rhythm section, These New Puritans proved a first class live act.
Opening with ‘Sword to Sword’, which revealed the grime influences of the group, the stoic quartet fashioned a set so enchanting and rich in sound that quite simply, I felt high.
In a silver feathered tank of skeksi-like armour, Jack Bennet emerged as a magical word artist, a flickering madman whose modern poetry and monotone mutterings seemed spat out with a spurt of gold glitter, so brilliantly delivered and imagined these lyrics were live. A grunge bang out in ‘FFF’ was followed closely by an absolutely breath taking live rendition of ‘Infinity ytinifnI’. It was short, brilliant and we should have been dancing, but we weren’t. Though it might have been the music, looking around I was more convinced that the crowd, predominantly constituting of Groucho inclined trend-oids, just didn’t get it.
And indeed, it was Soho’s Madame Jo Jo’s where I last saw The Kills live, with only two hundred others I watched these old school kids kick back onto the scene with a eight song set and enough un-concentrated grunt to pop the top button on your jeans. It was intense and left me craving more. Since then their third full length record has dropped, into more hands than their previous two efforts and all of a sudden, Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart found themselves fronting a full house at KOKO.
Sure, the abundance of tabloid smut that’s been churned out since a certain lady showed up on the scene might also be cause for the duos notable rise in hotness, but the gritty pop-sensible tracks from their latest output, Midnight Boom was cause enough to scope out The Kills biggest headline show to date. With the stage stark naked apart from a few minor pieces of equipment and two microphones, The Kills strolled in on a whim of casual coolness and inherent confidence. The settings were fixed and the ‘U.R.A Fever’ followed by ‘Pull A U’ and ‘Sour Cherry’ opened what would be a fifty minuet set, with the cocktail of tunes mixed messily at the ratio of three new songs to every one old, and if you didn’t know, Kills have plenty of songs, and this evening, a desire to play us drunk.
In typical Kills low-fi style, ‘Last Day of Magic’ and ‘Tape Song’ featured from their latest bag of tricks, yet as the set progressed, not even the harmonica trim of Wait could prevent each song blurring into the next. Indeed, The Kills fell victim to having too many equally measured songs of the same minimal makeup that over a long session, softens that cutting raw edge that tracks like ‘Kissy Kissy’ and ‘Fried My Little Brain’ boast in the short. ‘Cheap and Cheerful’ and a quiet ‘Goodnight Bad Morning’ were the final tunes that affirmed in my mind that sometimes, less is more.