Bath-based band blues-rock band Kill It Kid have just returned from a European tour and this gig at The Louisiana is one of three “wind-down” gigs in the UK to finish off the tour.
Lead vocal duties in Kill It Kid are shared between both Chris Turpin and Stephanie Ward, sometimes at the same time but more often taking turns. Turpin’s vocals are quite at odds with his boyish features and slender frame – a powerful, howling, blues voice that’s similar to the growl of Foy Vance (whom they have supported in the past) – while Ward’s are smoother, sultry even, but with an occasional blues yelp!
Though their vocals compliment fine when they sing together, there is a kind of tension between the two styles that is apparent on their latest album Feet Fall Heavy and similarly so in the live setting. Not that this is a problem, indeed it’s part of what makes their sound interesting, but it does make the set feel a bit disjointed – after getting everyone moving to a few loud songs with Turpin’s heavier spin on blues-rock guitar, Ward’s stripped back rendition of Dark Hearted Songbird was powerful in its relative quietness but felt slightly out-of-place.
Having moved away from the more folky sound of their earlier work (due to departure of their violinist), Kill It Kid are now, in my opinion, at their best when they are at their most rocky, turning up the distortion pedals and hammering away at their instruments while Turpin provides his wailing guitar and wailing vocals over the top of Ward’s softer foundation as in the first track from Feet Fall Heavy, You’re In My Blood (below).
Though this was a Sunday night and the Louisiana crowd seemed a bit subdued, the band, and particularly Turpin, bring plenty of energy to their performance and the slight roughness compared to the album only added to an excellent way to delay thinking about Monday morning.