The twenty-sixth day of the first month, I find myself in Southampton. The exact location, Pre Bar. I am here to listen to live music, music that I should enjoy. There is a sense of excitement brewing in the venue, it’s cosy interior suggests tonight could be rather loud. Today Kilkovec begin their E.P release tour and after getting a sneak peak at the masterfully created Plunge just a week ago, I decided I need to listen in the flesh.
If you have never been before (like myself before tonight) you might find Pre Bar to be no more than a student pub but actually it’s a neat little venue, and you can see that when the place is packed there is serious fun to be had. Being aimed at students the booze is cheap, naturally this adds to the fun.
The first act of the night was supposed to be Hyraeth, however I am informed that they had to pull out so two obliging musicians started the night with a mini jam session. Opening is never easy, and after a somewhat shaky start they soon found their sound. For a last minute and impromptu set with no bassist these guys grooved well. I can’t begrudge this move as it’s a daunting atmosphere opening the show in such a tiny place and at such short notice. On the whole the music they were making was energetic and had some sick hooks, but it just lacked a polished edge. And vocals. And a bass guitar.
The Emergency Please kicked into their set and bought the place to life, with a big opening track that really would have been better suited to a big venue. It just had a large presence, bigger than the room we were all in. Instantly the vocalist captivated me, with a strong performance that carried on throughout the entire set.
For all the stage presence the frontman gave off was kind of brought down a notch by the bassist, who had made the interesting decision to sit down, perhaps he had a long term sports injury, who knows? Perhaps he was a stand-in (sorry, not sorry for the pun.) for the night. Nevertheless these guys were exceptionally tight and the frontman had endless amounts of energy and character to keep you enthralled and entertained.
When I went searching for information about the next act of the night I found their Facebook page with a cover photo that reads ‘Who the fuck are Arid Wave’, at this point I thought the same. After I watched their latest music video for Glebe I was instantly excited to see these guys live. Their aggressive, heavy sound enticed me in online and their brutish, grinding sound got me hooked in person.
My ears got fucked inside-out within the first two songs they played and all the energy that came from the music transcended into their stage performance. In fact the drummer had little time to look up from the kit due to his relentless thrashing around. (This was a good thing, although perhaps not for his spinal cord.) No wonder really that his cymbals were visably cracked, his literally did not stop for the entire thirty minutes, okay he did stop in between songs. You know what I mean get off my back.
What The Emergency Please gave in musicianship, Arid Wave doubled in intensity, setting the stage perfectly for the headline act. Kilkovec.
It’s a shame that by this point many of people in the crowd had dispersed into, well god knows where they went. This really sucked cause from the get-go you could tell why Kilkovec were the headline act, they were tight, had an immense auror on the stage and the songs were played as well live as on record.
The Hampshire trio opened with the first single, Change, from the upcoming E.P and proceeded to tear through each song as compentantly as the last. Whatsmore the ease in which they performed really struck me, these guys looked throughly comfortable, as if the stage was a second home. Kilkovec ended the night strongly and really put on a show for the people that stuck around. It was a decent opening night for their release tour and the band have bigger shows to come. YACK! can only wish them every success with Plunge, and urge each and every one of you to check these bands out if you get the chance.