The Kills

The Kills - with support from The Longcut - Manchester Academy 3 - Live Review

The Kills with support from The Longcut

Manchester Academy 3

Tuesday 8 th February 2005

Former Manchester University students, The Longcut, return to their old haunt, this time to adorne the stage where they may have once watched their favourite bands. Fresh from their gig at Manchester’s bierkeller, the frenetic rock-electro outfit get ready for action.

Those that have seen the band before were certainly in the know, whilst new listeners were clearly surprised at the novel line-up entering the stage.

Who was going to play the "unspoken for" drum kit?

Breaking into “Late Night Bus” and “Last Act of Desperate Men,” all was revealed as singer Stuart Oglivie flitted from Mic to drum kit and back again. The band’s relentless energy and passion for music shines, and they rightfully don’t give a damn about deep or philosophical lyrics, and why should they when they sound this good?

The Kills - with support from The Longcut - Manchester Academy 3 - Live Review
The Kills - with support from The Longcut - Manchester Academy 3 - Live Review

On to the main act.

The blues punk duo "The Kills" strode onto the stage as though they owned the place. Hotel, in a rather withdrawn mood, poised in his comfort zone stage right, fixating his gaze across the sea of heads and onto the back wall. In contrast VV took the role of someone escaping from a straitjacket, dancing around jerkily and throwing herself around to every beat and chord, right from the opener and piercing title track “No Wow.” The sleazy blues rock we know and love filled the hall.

“Keep On Your Mean Side” paid an early visit, the sexual “Black Rooster” and passionate, hard rocking “Cat Claw” heated up the sexual chemistry, with VV throwing dark, smouldering looks across at her partner, while Hotel played hard to get. All this on-stage chemistry, and with Valentines Day approaching, there must have been love in the air everywhere. Right? Wrong! The ironic anti love story “I Hate The Way You Love” and “I Hate The Way You Love Part 2,” showed a glimps of the sharp and witty new material, whilst new single “The Good Ones” was passionately delivered, but overshadowed by the enchanting “Your Love Is A Deserter.”

A hypnotically pounding drum machine followed by drawled blues guitars and wistful shared vocals, for the bittersweet, old favourite “Kissy Kissy” took a hold and sounded enchanting in the intimate venue turned sleazy blues club.

The ever brilliant “Fried My Little Brains,” brought the two characters down from the speakers and away from their comfort zone for a full on guitar duelling scene, resembling scenes of murder, scandal, and love seen only in theatrical performance. If you thought you had seen it all, think again, as VV lay back sprawled across the stage, with Hotel playing his guitar over her. The band is as passionate about their show as they are their music, and that’s saying something!

Katherine Tomlinson

Click Here For The Kills on BBC Collective