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Kiria launches ‘Radio’ album

By James Simmins

Kiria launches ‘Radio’ album – 29th October at Café Rocks

Kiria launches ‘Radio’ album – 29th October at Café Rocks


Another night at Café Rocks – a debut album launch for female artist Kiria – this time with an audience reminiscent of the fans of 1980’s phsychobilly band King Kurt.

I arrived in time to catch a song and a half from 50’s style “punks” Knocksville, with a heavy train-like sound featuring great slap bass, banging drums, as well as a punk/rockabilly guitar player. Although fairly simplistic, as many three-piece acts are, they also had a direct powerful sound that gave their show an undeniably rocking edge, although they had someway to go to compare to such afficianados as the Stray Cats and the Cramps.

Kiria launches ‘Radio’ album – 29th October at Café Rocks

After this positive start, it was time to check out the main band. With a female singer who takes a provocative approach to performing and has more than a dash of lascivious humour, it was interesting to see where the performance was going. The band, which incorporated two guitarists, a violinist, drums and bass, had all turned up in fancy dress-style outfits and seemed to possess the necessary musical skills, which was a good thing as it turned out as they were in for quite a workout, musically speaking. Swigging JD dressed in a hitched up long white dress with white fishnets, Kiria sung well and certainly had the largely male audience up on their feet from the very beginning.

Kiria launches ‘Radio’ album – 29th October at Café RocksInitially sounding like a cross between Transvision Vamp and Catatonia, Kiria’s third song “Let Me In” changed to embrace a freer grungier sound, which seemed to settle the band into a more natural feel. As the gig progressed the sound gradually became heavier and by the 6th song “Fussy Girl” had achieved a Stooges-like intensity. It was as if the more heavily choreographed/produced sound of the first couple of numbers was a commercially orientated compromise that failed to ignite the band and it somehow failed to convince in the way that the heavier, later material did.

Kiria launches ‘Radio’ album – 29th October at Café RocksThere was a short interlude during which the band played a Doorsy/Santanaesque style piece of music that impressed with its tightness and intensity, whilst giving the guitarists and harem pants wearing vioinist room for an interesting workout (which included some interesting Led Zep style violin playing).Kiria reappeared in a leopardskin , swigged yet more JD and suggesting once again that amorous audience members “join the queue backstage” the catsuited frontwoman joined in the now much more Cramps–like music and, whilst crawling around the stage on all fours, really attacked the performance with a renewed vigour that suggested she was really getting into it. At best when playing in a heavier, swampier style the band now seemed to be really getting into it and the two guitarists, one dressed as a witch and the other as a priest, were now driving the music forward in a frenzied style.

Kiria launches ‘Radio’ album – 29th October at Café Rocks

A final number reminiscent of X-Ray Spex saw a couple of audience members stage a lightsabre fight whilst the band knocked out a tight number with a great violin riff, as well as heavy bass from the consistently good (Thai?)lady bass player dressed in an interesting short-trousered black military style outfit.

All in all it was a good gig – although everyone seemed to perform the more ballsy material much more convincingly than the more restrained material. The Wendy O’Williams style hardwoman image that Kiria employs seems to be much more suited to the Cramps/Nirvana/Pistols/Stooges type material and less suited to music with popular pretensions such as Transvision Vamp or even Catatonia.

On my way out of the gig I was given a flyer by a rockabilly hairdresser who seemed convinced that I would require his services and was obviously keen to cut my shoulder-length-and-a-bit hair into a natty quiff despite my protestations. For me the fifties was something that my dad did in his crepe shoes and drape jacket and, as such, has always seemed tremendously old-fashioned. It is always difficult to be original, yet Kiria at times had a sound that could potentially appeal to a wider audience, as well as a ballsy delivery that could surely win many an audience over.

Album available on ITunes, Amazon and others. 

http://www.kiria.co.uk

Find out more about writer James Simmins:
 
 

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