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LIVE: Kid Kapichi / Dead Pony – SWX, Bristol, 30/03/2024

Kid Kapichi were supposed to have a day off tomorrow.

They really like Bristol, so they deliberately built in a rest day on their tour after tonight’s show at SWX so that they could spend some extra time in the city.

Sadly, fate (via their manager) had other plans. In a rather unlikely turn of events, they will instead find themselves getting up at 6am (which is really 5am because of the clocks moving forward) to go to London and appear on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.

Safe to say, the world of Kid Kapichi has changed quite a bit over the last twelve months.

Their sudden rise to mainstream-ish status, which has included an arena tour with Nothing But Thieves and airplay on BBC Radio 2 is certainly well deserved, though. For over a decade, the Hastings punks have been ploughing the underground furrow admirably, releasing quality records, playing shows relentlessly, and always speaking their minds.

Their ascent could not have been more timely. With the most important general election in a generation coming up later this year, this country surely needs good people to step up and inspire action. Kid Kapichi have got PLENTY to say, and as they have shown recently with their comments on the war in Gaza, nobody is ever going to stop them saying it.

Tonight’s show is the third in a long tour for recent third album, There Goes The Neighbourhood. First support for the UK leg comes from Glasgow’s Dead Pony, and there couldn’t have been a better choice. Since rebranding from their previous moniker, Crystal, in 2020, Dead Pony have got progressively heavier and louder, with the heavy riffs being perfectly complemented by Anna Shields’ sumptuous vocals and insane energy.

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Tonight, we are treated to a nice preview of their forthcoming debut album, Ignore This, which is out next week. By the time we get to the final two songs, ‘COBRA’ and ‘MANA’, the crowd is bouncing enthusiastically. Plenty here to suggest that Ignore This will, appropriately enough, get plenty of attention.

Everyone is nicely warmed up by the time Kid Kapichi hit the stage, and they waste no time taking things up to the next level with the best moments from There Goes The Neighbourhood. Opener ‘Artillery’ is utterly ferocious; ‘Can EU Hear Me?’ is a clever satire on Brexit in the style of The Hives (“You can’t just separate a tectonic plate, mate!”); and ‘Lets Get To Work’ is an upbeat feelgood track in the mould of IDLES’ ‘Mr Motivator’.

The beefier soundsystem of a larger venue really adds something extra to the band’s sound, and the crowd respond in kind, bouncing from front to back. The energy in the room is insane.

Any suggestions that the band have watered down their approach on this album are quickly dispelled even before we get to ‘999’, possibly the band’s most explosive track to date, damning the British police for their shortcomings. “When they act above the law that they swore to protect, to protect all the people that we didn’t elect, they call it order I call it disrespect, if they want justice well that’s what they’ll get.” Crikey, I don’t think we’ll hear Zoe Ball playing that one.

The Tory-baiting singalong of ‘Party At No.10’ and the groovy ska stylings of ‘Zombie Nation’ are a nice respite after the opening salvo, but the noise soon ramps up again, with the band’s classic tracks getting a good airing alongside the new stuff.

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It’s very satisfying to see so many new fans getting the same enjoyment out of ‘Working Man’s Town’ and ‘New England’ that the old-time fans have, even if support band Dumb Buoys Fishing Club do attempt to ruin the latter with their horrendous rapping in the last verse. Inane, unintelligible shouting is no substitute for Bob Vylan’s brilliant part there, Buoys, sorry.

By the time we reach the irresistible chaos of ‘Smash The Gaff’ in the encore, the victory is well and truly won. With the sound of “FUCK THE TORIES” ringing in our ears, it is clear the message has been well and truly received. Kid Kapichi have reached the place where they were always meant to be, and there is no more important band in Britain today.

Channel 4 won’t know what fucking hit them.

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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.