Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Kids In Glass Houses - Reading Sub89, 27/10/14

Sadly, compared to last night's performance, Save Your Breath seem to a fall a little short in connecting with the crowd, which makes the first half of their set seem unnaturally forced. It's a shame because, musically at least, they're still on the top of their game. While vocalist Kristian Richards might not be throwing himself into the crowd as often as he did last night, it's still one of the most energetic performances I've seen Save Your Breath put on. However, the crowd seem largely unresponsive until the midpoint of the set, which left the beginning falling a little flat. Similarly, they don't seem to talk to the crowd as much as they did at Oxford, possibly because of the general passive attitude in the venue. When playing 'Skin and Bones' the acoustics in the venue make Kristian's voice seem much rougher than they did last night, and not necessarily in a positive way, but the song is still so beautifully performed that it doesn't even matter if the vocals aren't completely on point. They played exactly the same set as at Oxford, which was both unsurprising and incredibly pleasing, as when a band can get a setlist that well crafted it makes sense for them to play it on multiple occasions and by 'Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy' most of the crowd was dancing and singing along, possibly because a lot of people arrived after their set began. 

Fake It Like You Mean It
Skin and Bones
Stay Young
Harrow Road
Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy

Despite the fact that the crowd seemed quite complaisant throughout the majority of Save Your Breath's set, that completely changed during Kids In Glass Houses performance. 'Undercover Lover' with the small snippet of 'Dancing on the Ceiling' was much better executed and received and 'Drive' managed to incite one of the biggest dance-alongs I've ever seen at Sub 89. 'Fisticuffs' had an amazing extended outro that was so atmospheric it gave me goosebumps; the extension was extremely well performed and it gave a hint towards where Kids In Glass Houses could have gone in the future, if this wasn't their fourth from last ever show. All of the members shined again tonight: Philip Jenkins bringing in 'Artbreaker I' with his drum solo was even more impressive second time around, Joel Fisher's solo during 'Animals' has always been one of the all time highlights of 'In Gold Blood', Shay's backing vocals seriously point towards the possibility of being a vocalist in the future and Iain Mahanty's guitar section has always been my favourite part of 'The Morning Afterlife', and it will continue to be for a very long time. 
The only complaint I have about this entire set was Aled Phillips' acoustic version of 'Raise Hell'. Despite the fact that the Oxford show was both sold out and a larger capacity, as soon as Aled started talking and singing the entire venue was both captivated and focused, silent apart from singing along. However, at Sub 89 the crowd talked over Aled introducing the song, including his reminiscing of playing in Reading with Hundred Reasons back in 2006 and never before having played a headline show in Reading. The crowd continued to talk throughout the acoustic, which just seemed so incredibly rude and lacking of respect. Aled's voice is even more beautiful in an acoustic environment, so the fact that the attendees were in the presence of something so amazing and just seemed to dismiss it really annoyed me. I understand that it's highly unlikely that the crowd were silent at Oxford; possibly I was in a better place or the venue had better acoustics, but it was still the only low point out of an extremely amazing set. 
Starting the encore with 'Peace' was a stroke of genius because it united all fans, old and new, in the send-off of an amazing band. During 'Youngblood (Let It Out)', on the line "pitch black" the venue lights all went out; it proves what a brilliant band Kids In Glass Houses really are in that the entire time the lights were out everyone was still completely captivated, cheering the band until they burst back in with the second half of the song in a moment that was triumphant and spectacular. 'Saturday' was always going to be one of the best received songs, so finishing off with the double hitter of that and 'Matters At All' cemented in every attendees mind just how flawless this band really are. Going to two shows in a row, I thought I would have a clear favourite and would end up being disappointed with one of the performances, but with a band like Kids In Glass Houses you can never be let down by their live show. 
At the end of the set, I managed to get a setlist and a pick (the other pick in the image is the one my mum caught) and it's the first time I've ever managed to do that, and it means so much to me that it was from one of the best live shows I've ever seen.

Artbreaker I
The Best Is Yet To Come
Give Me What I Want
Undercover Lover (with a small cover of Dancing on the Ceiling)
Easy Tiger
Dance All Night
Diamond Days
Lilli Rose 
Raise Hell (acoustic)
The Morning Afterlife
Hunt The Haunted
Artbreaker II 
Youngblood (Let It Out)
Matters At All 

And with this, the last time that I will ever see one of my favourite bands live, I'm making an appeal to you, and that appeal is: 
If you support music, prove it. 
Outcry Collective. Pegasus Bridge. My Passion. Elliot Minor. Futures. Attack! Attack!. Pure Love. Sharks. Summerlin. The Dead Lay Waiting. We Caught The Castle. Your Demise. Jody Has A Hitlist. Canterbury. LostAlone. Kids In Glass Houses. 
All of these amazing bands have split up in the last few years, making such a dent in the upcoming British rock scene. If we want the British music scene to continue to thrive and expand, we need to make an effort as fans to support bands. Don't complain if they don't tour near you - if you love them that much, travel to them. Don't illegally download their songs - go to a show and buy their CDs. Don't go to a show and buy so much alcohol you can't stand straight and you will never be able to remember the gig - that causes you to spend more with less benefits for the band you're seeing.
With the cost of living soaring every year, the likelihood of a new wave of bands being plentiful and talented is extremely low, because people just won't be able to afford the risks of travelling around the country in a van without another form of solid income. Yes, there have been a few success stories in recent years (look at Mallory Knox, who had an extremely successful debut album in the form of 'Signals', or Asking Alexandria and Neck Deep, who made it in America before their names were even known over here), but we want more successes and less break ups. I don't know if all the bands above broke up because of financial reasons (think of My Chemical Romance; bands can break up because of reasons other than money, sometimes it just runs its course) but the fact that most of them are smaller, lesser known bands points towards that exact conclusion.
If a band you don't know go to a club near you, take a risk and go and see them live! I stumbled upon Young Guns, Don Broco and Fearless Vampire Killers in a tiny venue in Swindon, before any of their debut albums were released, and now look at where they are! You never know if you'll find your latest obsession for the tiny cost of a fiver. Take a risk, you probably won't regret it. 

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