Live Review: Kagoule @ Rough Trade East

Nottingham teens Kagoule released their debut single Urth today and celebrated with an album launch show at Shoreditch music Mecca Rough Trade East.

A busy and expectant crowd had gathered to catch a band that have been garnering plenty of media acclaim in recent months and the trio quickly set about proving the critics right with an opening salvo of twisty alt-rock full of dynamic shifts and crunchy distorted bass-lines.

Kagoule Rough Trade East

Everything seemed to be going to plan – Album highlights ‘Glue’ and ‘Gush’ with their winding guitars and boy-girl vocals going down a storm and the usually stoic crowd that you usually get at these London showcases warming to their updated take on quiet/loud grunge structures and even starting to move a bit.   Then disaster struck; frontman Cai breaks a string.  He has no back-up guitar.  His spare strings are on the back seat of the car.  Rhythm section Lucy and Lawrence keep us entertained with a few shorts blasts of classic rock intros but it looks like any hope of completing the set with a fully functioning guitar is lost.

Kagoule Rough Trade East

Step forward an unlikely hero – from nowhere a black t-shirted Rough Trade staff member whips out an innocuous looking cardboard box, from which he produces the shiniest golden guitar that I or anyone else here has even laid eyes upon.  We are hypnotised as he holds it aloft, a gleaming Excalibur, for Cai to take, “Can I keep it?”, sadly the answer is no but after a bit of a tune-up they’re ready to go, Lucy taking over vocal duties on the shimmering ‘Made of Concrete’, before taking the audience aback with an incongruously fierce, trachea-flaying roar on ‘Empty Mug’.  Finishing with a triumphant ‘It Knows It’, the day has been well and truly saved.

Kagoule’s debut album ‘Urth’ is out now on Earache Records.  The band tour Europe in September, returning to the UK for more dates in October.

Review and photography by Paul Maps

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