LIVE: Kid Kapichi - 2000Trees Festival, Cheltenham, 09/07/2022

LIVE: Kid Kapichi – 2000Trees Festival, Cheltenham, 09/07/2022

For anyone sniffing around the lower reaches of the Saturday 2000Trees lineup, looking for the band that is about to blow up (in a good way), there was really only one obvious contender.

Hastings punks Kid Kapichi have been gradually building a following since forming in 2013. They finally released their debut album, This Time Next Year, in 2021, self-produced following the onset of lockdown, and it was an enthralling mix of cutting social commentary and taunting of the privileged.

The first part of 2022, though, has really seen the band step it up a notch. First, they released ‘New England’, a quite savage track about British culture and how people are inexplicably fooled into voting for an uncaring Tory government. They then followed this up with ‘Party at No.10’, a brilliant acoustic satire on the Partygate scandals, the release of which was accompanied by a promotional billboard driving around Westminster. Well played.

Also noteworthy was singer/guitarist Jack Wilson’s open letter for Kerrang! magazine about the Nationality and Borders Act. Such intelligent and inspiring insight marks Kid Kapichi out as an important voice.

With the band recently having signed on the dotted line with Spine Farm Records, part of the Universal Music Group, and the forthcoming release of their second album, Here’s What You Could Have Won, in September, it promises to be quite the year.

One might think that today, playing the less-than-highly-coveted 2pm slot in The Cave, might not be a major landmark on Kid Kapichi’s road to the top. For this band, though, every show is a statement, and today is no exception.

For a start, The Cave is absolutely packed to the guy ropes, probably the biggest crowd this stage sees all day, and the searing heat does not reduce the energy one bit. Opener ‘Sardines’ is explosive, and the moshpit is deep already.

By second song ‘Working Man’s Town’, Tony the Tiger is crowdsurfing. That’s all the recommendation anyone needs. Clearly, he thinks Kapichi are………well, you know.

As a live band, Kid Kapichi bear a striking resemblance to today’s main stage headliners, IDLES. In Wilson, they have a thoughtul and passionate frontman. He introduces ‘Party at No.10’ with a timely reminder that even though Boris is gone, something just as sinister is likely to follow. Joe Talbot makes a similar statement later in the evening, with slightly more colourful language of course.

The real energy of Kid Kapichi, though, comes from the duelling guitars of Ben Beetham (lead) and Eddie Lewis (bass) behind Wilson. Like Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan of IDLES, these two are a force of perpetual motion behind the frontman, growling at the crowd, and playing off each other brilliantly. The matching colours of their attire really adds to this feeling of purpose around them too.

Add in the powerhouse drumming of George Macdonald, and you have a fierce unit that are as tightly knit as any band you will see.

Of course, being on so early means that we only get 30 minutes of them today, but they use their time very well, leading us through the best bits of This Time Next Year, along with their recent singles. Even with the new album on the way, the energy for their previous record is still immense, notably on ‘Glitterati’ and ‘Violence’.

With only one more show scheduled before the release of Here’s What You Could Have Won, today represents a nice bookmark before the next step, which will surely be the one that pushes Kid Kapichi to the next level. Let’s hope so, because theirs is a voice that the world definitely needs to hear.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.