As an awkward fresher desperately trying to impress the music editors, I saw This Is The Kit perform for the very first time at Leeds’ own, Brudenell Social Club. Although beautifully lulling, the less than half filled venue alongside Kate Stables sweet and slow vocals, resulted in a rather sleepy atmosphere in the room. Flash forward three years later to the same much-loved gig venue but a much fuller room and a more complete sound. An older and arguably, more tasteful, audience waits in anticipation for the sold out show to begin.
This Is The Kit released their fourth studio album, Moonshine Freeze, in July last year, the addition of a brass section creating a fuller and warmer sound to the bands usual folky undertones. And indeed, during the evening, the band are at their strongest when performing tracks from the new album. ‘Bullet Proof’, the opening track of Moonshine Freeze, perfectly balances Rozi and Kate’s melancholic and simple vocals against the more varied, scale-like banjo picking and drum accompaniment. The unforgivably sassy ‘Hotter Colder’ adds variation to the evening, the rockier electric guitar causing an in-unison nodding of the heads by the mature and musically competent members of the audience. Old favorites such as ‘Bashed Out’ and ‘Magic Spell’ are also not an unwelcome addition to the evening.
With a stronger and more stable sound, no one can dispute how far This Is The Kit have come from the first performance I saw back in 2015. However, what has remained constant, and arguably what makes Stables so lovely to watch, is her gratefulness to her audience for taking the time to stop and listen. Her declaration of, ‘you’ve been such perfect company’, echoes and resonates with the same words and impression she gave to the much smaller crowd three years previously. This Is The Kit is the kind of band that makes you forget about your looming deadlines, momentarily forget to contemplate the future of the UK post-Brexit and ponder how someone as stupid as Trump actually became President. Instead, forcing you to be grateful for the time you have and transporting you to memories of long warm summer evenings: beers in hand, a laugh with some friends and a feeling of utter contentment and bliss.