King No-One, Kalpa, The Irenes, Arts Club Loft 12/10/17

Indie rock sensations, King No-One, brought a tantalising show to the East Village Art Club Loft. David Hughes was there to catch the action. 

Having performed to a one row deep crowd in Liverpool last year, it is clear to see from the size of this crowd how much King No-One have risen in the past year. The year has seen them play festivals such as Reading and Y Not, while having their latest singles featured on Radio 1, Radio 6 and the like. As the end of their tour looms, this has been a fantastic year for the boys and one that is set to finish with a bang.

A Harry Styles look-a-like kicks off proceedings, as he introduces his Liverpool based band, The Irenes. With their crunchy guitars and overly delayed riffs shining through a confident demeanour, this is a band that knows how to fire up the crowd, who find any excuse to mosh accordingly. Some well-crafted song writing complements a great stage presence, although the vocals feel like they need some work. Not bad at all for their second ever gig, a positive sign of things to come.

Next up is a 5-piece band from Bath, Kalpa, with their first venture out of the South-West. This band are bringing back the 80’s, with some intricate guitar riffs and 80s sounding synths, along with the incredible range and tone from the lead vocalist. With a varied set and a perfectly balanced sound, Kalpa makes you want to dance, to which the crowd reciprocates. This dream pop band will certainly be making waves over the next few years if they keep up with this level of performance.

The lights go down to screams of joy from the crowd, peaking at the point the lead singer, Zach, parades onto stage open shirted. He spends his evening swigging from his bottle of white wine, while charming the crowd with his stage presence. He knows how to get the crowd going as they start with “Systematic“, crowd moshing in appreciation. This level of charisma and crowd control Zach shows could easily be transferred to a much larger venue. The next few songs are as bold and brass as the first, with the crowd singing and screaming along, as Zach lets off the biggest party popper ever seen by man.

Crowd favourite “Halo” is next, starting with the chorus being sung without any instrumental backing, the crowd sing back louder than the vocals coming through the speakers. The song kicks in, and at this mid-point in the set, this feels like the euphoric anthem that this night was made for.

Following that was going to be hard, so the band takes it down a notch to play “Say My Name”, giving the crowd a different experience. It changes the mood in place, with the crowd starting to sway to the slower tempo. The Arctic Monkey vibes are clear to see, that is until Zach decides to climb up on top of the lighting rig and sing the second verse from up there in this intimate moment, receiving a fantastic reception from the crowd in the process.

The night has seen the crowd record every moment, to which Zach requests they stop just for one song, as the band proceeds to play a brand-new song, “Toxic Love“. This song is more of a ballad and slower than anything they have played previously, bringing a different side of the band to the crowd. As such, the swaying continues.

It’s coming to the end of the set and just before the band plays “AntichristZach starts a speech about equality. All night he has been wearing tape over his nipples, which makes sense when he starts to talk about equality between men and women. His speech is met with a loud roar across the venue, as people feel empowered by what he has to say.

Potentially at the wrong point in the set, “Two Islands” is picked as the penultimate song, which feels a lot more intimate and softer than what should be at this point in a set. Needless to say, it is a great performance of the song, with hair standing up on end and goose bumps starting to form.

To end it had to be “Alcatraz” which sees the moshing and the general reaction from the crowd reach a new peak. The song finishes in an incredible wall of sound, that has everybody in the venue going crazy.

While there were one or two negative aspects to the evening, this is nit picking. The night has been an incredible fusion of different music genres coming together, with the highlight being King No-One, who are certainly a band that needs to be seen live before being judged from how they sound recorded.

Nobody leaves this night disappointed with what they have seen and certainly will want to experience this band again in the future.

Words by David Hughes.

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