Gig Review | This is the Kit w/ Dominie Hooper @ Tramway Glasgow

This is the Kit, a band headed by their main songwriter and singer Kate Stables, took to the Glasgow stage on Saturday the 27th of Jan to serenade their Scottish support base with Kate’s bewitching dulcet tones and excellent band. 

As I regrettably found myself wrapped up in work related endeavours, I was unable to catch the whole of the support act Dominie Hooper. However, what I did catch of her last song was a tenderness that I felt coupled fantastically with what This is the Kit played that night. 

They kicked the night off with Scabby Head and Legs from the most recent album, Careful of Your Keepers. Kate and her band really came alive with this first song, offering more experimental sounds than can be heard on the LP, leading me to flirt with the thought that this band is in fact a better live act than a recording band. These thoughts would be violently vindicated to me by the end of the show. 

Fast forward to the third song of the night, Inside Outside, one of my favourite recordings of the quartet, and I was staggered with how beautiful the live version was. Kate’s voice sounds incredible in a big hall, and overall I was extremely impressed by how tight as a unit the band sounds. The bass player, and occasional back up singer, Rozi Plain pairs up really well with the basic but reliable drumming of Jamie Whitby-Coles to essentially give Kate and Neil Smith (lead guitarist) carte blanche to take the song wherever they feel like taking it. 

This theme became more and more apparent as the gig went on, with the rhythm section continuously providing a rock solid platform for Kate and Neil to get as crazy or calm as they liked. Nowhere in the setlist could this be seen more vividly than in Careful of Your Keepers, with Whitby Coles providing some solid and funky high hat work, and Plain’s bass opting for a more chilled out descending groove. The two paired really nicely, and as the song grew Kate and Neil grew into it too. Again, this song was another example of the live version of the song being vastly superior to the recorded version, as it seemed like Neil was just let off the leash towards the end of the song. His guitar screeched through the hall and was reminiscent of almost a sonic youth level of noise and musicianship.

It was after this song that Kate started to chat to the audience, which led me to conclude that she is extremely comfortable on stage, possibly in her element. She recounted stories of dirty stages, sliding around stages in her socks and spoke with a confidence and a sense of humour that seemed to calm both the band mates and the audience. 

Finally the two other songs of note were Earthquake and the encore. Firstly, Earthquake being my absolute favourite song, it blew me away. Hearing this song live I felt like I was in a blues bar in the deep south of America. Such was the power of the rhythm of this song, however Kate still drew me back in with her soft, yet powerful voice every time I threatened to get lost in the music. This song proved to me the varying influences of this band, again making it very difficult for me to pinpoint this band as folk, rock or even alternative rock. 

The last song of the night, Keep Going, was a beautiful encore and I could feel the disappointment in the air as the band left the stage. What struck me more than anything else as they all took to the stage to bow was how incredibly modest they all seemed. Keeping in mind this is a band that regularly plays three or four thousand people, they all seemed extremely humble and even grateful that they get the opportunity to do such a wonderful job for a living. 

To conclude, This is the Kit blew my expectations of them out of the water. They were a tight knit, well oiled machine that took experimenting with their songs live completely in their stride. For a band that is to my mind a more impressive live band, I will be watching the rest of their careers with eager eyes, and I’m excited to catch them next time they decide to grace us with another album, and another tour.