To Kill A King at the O2 Academy, Bristol (27/03/2013)

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To Kill A King are currently finishing off their run of shows on the Bastille Bad Blood Tour. I was lucky enough to go along to the Bristol show to see To Kill A King in the support slot. I have seen To Kill A King before in many settings, first at Bestival 2012, one of the highlights of my festival was seeing them play an amazingly fun show on the Band Stand stage and then again in October last year at their headline show at The Joiners in Southampton. However, since the release of their debut album Cannibals with Cutlery I’ve yet to see them perform, therefore I was very excited about the show.

They opened with my favourite song from the album ‘Gasp/The Reflex’. The way it ebbs and flows between beautifully quiet parts to epic, roaring sections is great in the live setting. It was taken to another level by the band who had the audience in the palm of their hands. Next up was their brand new single ‘Funeral’, previously heard on their Word of Mouth EP and a brilliant choice of single (out later this year in April). From the spine-tingling guitar intro right through to the end of the track the band kept up the energy and sold the track in the best way possible; by demonstrating it through performance.

Next up was another track featured on the Word of Mouth EP entitled ‘Howling’. In this track vocalist Ralph Pelleymounter really had the crowd in the palm of his hand as he lead the band into fantastic harmonies. An example of something that is indicative to their sound; the brilliant five-part harmonies that they nail every time. Going from one tenderly quiet track to another, Ralph played the title track of the debut album, ‘Cannibals with Cutlery’. One of my favourites in terms of sound and also in terms of lyrics. I always love the crowd reaction as Ralph sings ‘alcohol’s a lubricant, surely you could use it to slowly fuck yourself’, they seemed to love that one. After this quieter number they had a treat for the Bastille fans. Calling on stage the headline act they performed a track known for it’s appearance on Ralph’s Balcony Sessions called ‘Choices’. It appears on the debut album and added something really exciting to their set. The crowd obviously loving the fact that Bastille had joined them onstage, however the limelight still remained on To Kill A King and their beautiful performance of the track (obviously nicely decorated with the vocals of the guys from Bastille).

The penultimate track came in the form of ‘Cold Skin’, the first single from Cannibals with Cutlery. A truly great track, the crowd were soon singing along, or maybe that was just me. Despite the slightly unresponsive Bristol crowd i’m certain To Kill A King gained plenty of new fans from their performance. Finishing with ‘Fictional State’ they ended a fantastic set. I can’t wait for the day when there are mosh pits to the end of this track. Ralph paused at, what most people thought, was the end of the track, the thank the crowd before launching head first into the high energy finale. They well and truly warmed the crowd up for Bastille and successfully filled their worthy place in the support slot.

To Kill A King’s debut album Cannibals with Cutlery is out now.

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About Author

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I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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