After the release of new album Peace last week, Kids in Glass Houses are half way through their extensive UK tour with Cartel and Propellers. Playing for the millionth time at The Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth the show definitely demonstrated a band that (in the words of drummer, Philip Jenkins) ‘are at Peace with their live set’.
First up were Propellers. The tallest band on the bill to say the least, each of them definitely over 6ft tall, maybe apart from the keyboard player who was slightly shorter. It’s a shame their performance wasn’t as tall. They differ from the other two acts on the bill in terms of genre, they have a more indie-rock vibe, rather than pop. However, I felt like they didn’t entirely fit on the line up and they were merely an imitation of already successful bands of that genre. On a more positive note the vocals of frontman Max Davenport were promising, despite him dressing like a blonde Noel Fielding; I’m pretty sure those jeans were sprayed on.
Next up came some redemption in the form of amazing Georgian pop-punk band Cartel. A personal favourite of mine from my early teenage years. Back with new album Collide they are supporting Kids in Glass Houses for one more date before heading back to the states to tour with Mayday Parade for a whopping nine week stint. They played some tracks from the new album which demonstrated that they still have a skill for writing catchy pop-punk tracks. However, the highlight of their set for me was when they performed classic track ‘Honesty‘ from their 2005 debut Chroma. It’s a shame I was the only one in the room singing along at the top of my lungs.
Kids in Glass Houses came onstage and jumped straight into the title track for their new album. ‘Peace‘ is a fantastic sing-a-long that really got the crowd going, despite the album only being out a week, everyone knew the words. Next was latest single ‘Drive‘, again, gaining a very favourable reaction from the crowd (that, unfortunately, consisted of mainly teenage girls). They satisfied the needs of old fans (like myself) by playing a few stunning tracks from the 2008 debut Smart Casual, such as ‘Easy Tiger’ and ‘Saturday’.
The set lulled in the middle for me personally as I didn’t know a lot of the tracks that they performed from the second and third albums, but seeing them live has inspired me to go and check them out in more detail. The pace picked back up when they played ‘Fisticuffs’ and the classic track ‘Give Me What I Want‘ before finishing on crowd favourite ‘Matters At All‘. The pulling power of Kids In Glass Houses comes from the vocals of Aled Philips, the pop music they create is optimised by the incredible hooks that are perfectly executed by the frontman.
Overall a really enjoyable gig made better by the inclusion of the tracks that started it all from Smart Casual as well as tracks from the brilliant new record Peace.