Following a summer of recording and touring, including a gig at Worthy Farm, Kagoule return to the city which spawned them. Once Band of Jackals brash, heavy sound had warmed the crowd, Kagoule and co-headliners, God Damn, seized the stage.
To call God Damn ‘another duo’ would unfairly pile them into the accumulating pile of shit NME has sought out to ‘excite’ the British public. God Damn are Royal Blood’s older brother’s, who give them noogies and the occasional kick in the balls. Built on thunderous guitar chords and a pounding kick-drum they create a turbulent room of sound which, much like Drenge, is hard to believe has come from two people.
While their thick, percussion driven sound, seems similar to early Nirvana, there’s more in the duo. The distinction of Thom’s repeated guitar hook in one track can’t help but remind you of Metallica’s ‘Ride the Lighting’, slowed down and a few octaves lower. Likewise, at points his voice seemed to drift away from the expectations of modern popular music and land in the howling depths of Black Metal, comparable to the vocals from bands such as Mayhem. God Damn allow people to become absorbed in their songs, letting tensions accumulate- at one point slowly beckoning the audience to move closer, resulting in a zombie like motion in the crowd. Each song is a process of energy, concentration and passion. After playing, Thom takes a breath and remarks “Oh, it all came out all at once then.”
Sufficiently warmed up, Kagoule stroll onto stage with a knowing sense of ritual; yet tonight they were no longer playing the support slot at The Bodega. Beginning with a sharp edge, the band opened with ‘Adjust the Way’. Not attempting to play their set tactically, the end of the song is quickly followed by the rippling guitar solo of their first single, ‘Monarchy’. The tune spreads out through the crowd in an eerily calm manner; placing it before the iconic drumbeat the band came across as having complete confidence with how they choose to play to tonight’s audience- homecoming show or not.
Later, another early favourite, ‘Made of Concrete’, truly rouses the crowd, gaining singing from front to back. It’s a relief to see that none of the band look too stressed or miserable- tours and album recording generally bring the toughest of bands to the ground. Yet Kagoule genuinely seem to enjoy playing the hometown show. (Lucky I suppose, if you can’t enjoy your own city, where can you enjoy?)
People may have been happy, and indeed fully absorbed in the show, from the start, however, it seems it isn’t until the brief savagery of ‘Empty Mug’ that they become ferocious. Lucy, who is always at least somewhat feral on stage, gives possessed, banshee like screams in to the microphone. As is often the case at gigs, the floor mirrors the energy of the stage. Inevitably, a moshpit tears out of the crowd from front to back and enough cups are thrown in the air to create a tasty, if somewhat brief, shower of beer. The guys follow with a shout out to an old friend and launch into a close on ‘Glue’.
To watch Kagoule play a headline set at The Bodega may seem strange to much of the audience, for years they have either been playing smaller venues or settling for support slots. The night wasn’t just a homecoming show, but a change of status for the band. Rescue Rooms next please.
Ian is listening to: Elvis Costello and the Attractions – ‘I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down’
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