Live Review: Clean Cut Kid – Liverpool Music Week

Clean Cut Kid

Arts Club, Liverpool, 29th October 2016

Words and Photos: Elena Katrina

cleancutkidlmw16-elenakatrinaIn 2015 Clean Cut Kid were a relatively new name on the lips of music fans in Liverpool, despite being a band from that very city. They had only played one show in their home town at that point and were first on at the Liverpool Music Week on the afternoon of Halloween. This year how the tides have turned. Not only did they have their own show, but it sold out weeks before they even stepped on stage.

It was a new venue to the band, having neither played nor watched a band play and they were thrilled. This enthusiasm for the venue carried on throughout the bands on the bill and to the crowd. As I watched Zuzu bring her very Scouse twang to her feisty pop set I could hear people in the crowd behind me muttering how great she was. Of course I already knew that 😉 For someone so slight she brings a real punch and although at times she looked a little nervous there’s still so much time for this wonderful act to gain confidence and fully sparkle on stage, rather than just offer up hints of it. Her penultimate track was one of my favourites and complimented the full punchy hit of set closer, Get Off. I can’t wait to see how she progresses now she has a full tour support with locals Hooton Tennis Club this Winter.

The venue was stuffed full of happy faces for Zuzu but the excitement was palpable as Clean Cut Kid took to the stage. Helped by the huge electronic banner that created the backdrop for the stage, which changed from their gig poster to their logo in one easy push of a button. Everything about this show demonstrated exactly how far this band have come over the past 12 months.

cleancutkidlmw16-elenakatrinaTheir set was packed full of both punchy and poignant moments. The tender ones in particular stood out to me, as it’s difficult to hold the attention of a crowd who a. are there for the big bouncy numbers and b. are seeming quite inebriated. Yet capture their attention they did – at these points, particularly Jean, the crowd seemed to hold it’s collective breath as it took in the words, the delicate melody and the broodingly sweet harmonies. It’s a stunning song and it breaks the set wonderfully. After all this is a band who has a spectacular songwriter and so to demonstrate this around a movement within the set is very much needed, and very much appreciated by all.

Let us not kid ourselves though (no pun intended), this is a band who is known to kick out some of the most interesting melodies around. They’re not simple pop songs, they might sound it on the surface but trust me, they’re not. What they are is impressively clever and, in many cases, very  addictive. The crowd proved this point splendidly as they chanted back lyrics and elevated the atmosphere beyond anything I’d seen for this band. We Used To Be In Love and Vitamin C proved to be the most popular but it was their more personal track, Evelyn, that made for me a most impressive and enjoyable viewing. It’s far from your usual love song and it roars.

After the set there were chants for more but it was not to be. What fans got instead was some one on one time with band members who obliged their fans wishes of selfies and autographs. It might have been their biggest sold out show to date but it most certainly won’t be their last.

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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