Live Review: Clean Cut Kid

Clean Cut Kid

Clean Cut Kid

Arts Club, Liverpool, 30th November 2018

It is not often that walking into a venue you are presented with a cardboard beard, but given I had only the day before lost about three inches from my facial topiary, I was very glad that Clean Cut Kid had decided their hometown gig was the ideal time to record their latest music video.

I was less supportive of their decision to play Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours on repeat throughout the night though, as I have an appreciation of that album which many would view as blasphemous. Some people might see conflict between a love of Clean Cut Kid and a deep seated hatred of Fleetwood Mac given their musical similarities, but no matter how much I listen to either band I can never connect the two.

The support for this tour has been The Peach Fuzz. It is quite possible that they were created in a laboratory by a mad scientist who had been reading the innermost discussions within the Popped Music team as they had everything we, as a collective, love. Tunes by the bucketload, confidence on stage, shiny pants, and a male singer wearing glitter and eyeliner. I hope that it was not just for their hometown gig (The Peach Fuzz are Liverpool-based too) as indie rock n roll always needs more glam – and it is even more appreciated when they have the swagger to accompany it brought about by an effortless ability to wrap some smart arse guitar playing around a pop tune not dissimilar to the evening’s hosts.

The Peach Fuzz

As Mike from Clean Cut Kid was at pains to point out in the spaces between songs, Clean Cut Kid haven’t been on the road for a fair old while as they honed their second album after the gorgeous pop hues and textures of ‘Felt’. Personally, I’ve missed the grin their music brings to my face on a regular basis, and it took seconds of them igniting on stage for that grin to come back.

Many other bands make me smile, but there is something in particular about Clean Cut Kid which pushes the corners of my mouth up more than most bands. Obviously the songcraft plays a massive part in it, but it is supplemented and enhanced by the obvious chemistry and love between husband-and-wife duo Mike and Ev who share smiles, glances and pride throughout the set in such a way that it’d make the most bitter singleton (me) think that they wanted a piece of that life. It’s an incredible opportunity to see a singer performing a love song in conjunction with the person they wrote the song about.

Clean Cut Kid

When ‘Brother of Mine’, a song written about a former bandmate of Mike’s that he had fallen out with, was performed that too was also sung in front of the person it was written about as new bassist Gaz is that once-and-now-current bandmate.

There is no room for hiding your emotions during a Clean Cut Kid set as every song has meaning. Usually that meaning hits yours truly hardest in the lamenting ‘Jean’, but for the first time ever I did not cry during the performance of it.

Don’t worry though, I did manage to get the tears pouring through the perfect pop of ‘Vitamin C’. It was just so beautiful watching a room full of people singing loudly and joyously along with such lovely people on stage that my emotions flowed like the Mersey.

As many an old scouse nan like Jean would say, Clean Cut Kid are the gear. Just don’t make me listen to ‘The Chain’ ever again!

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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