Tag Archives: This Jumped-Up Boy In Livery

Gig Review: Kites, Scala, 02/10/2012.

3 Oct

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Winning over a crowd that is almost exclusively in attendance to watch another performer may not have been one of the 12 labours of Hercules, heck it wasn’t even one of the 12 tasks of Asterix, but nonetheless its difficulty should not be underestimated. Tonight at the Scala in North London, it is a task that Kites are to undertake as they seek to entertain and seduce fans of X-Factor contestant, Aiden Grimshaw.

It is not an entirely alien crowd mind you and a few friendly whoops and hollers greet the band as they walk on stage. Then come the drums, pounding out across the floor, filling the venue and counting down the arrival of singer Matthew Phillips. The crowd may not know him now, but they soon will. A perpetual motion machine, he fiddles and moves, dances and skips and struts about the stage. It may well be home to another later this evening, but for now it is his and he is making himself comfortable.

There is a heavier feel to their live set, though that may be due to sound issues that seem to be drowning the keys, and there is something darker too. Matthew’s baritone provides a hitherto unheralded gothic quality to their synth-pop, like a disco Sisters of Mercy. It remains as infectious as ever and the crowd feels it too, warming to the band quick smart. Lively for a Tuesday they may be, but like Matthew, they are all in for some midweek revelry. The whoops are getting louder, the dancing more pronounced, the clap-along’s more enthusiastic and the floor is filling with each song.

On the home stretch now and the task is all but complete. The crowd belongs to Kites, to Matthew and his non-stop energy and charm. Nothing is left on stage as they steam through “Art Tastes Better Blind” and “History”, the crowd dancing, clapping and, as set finale “This Jumped Up Boy In Livery” reaches its crescendo, singing along with almost as much gusto as Matthew himself.

Their show draws to close and as he imparts his thank you’s and goodnight’s the near capacity crowd roars back to Matthew their appreciation. They may not have known who Kites were at the start of the evening but they certainly do now.



“This Jumped Up Boy In Livery” is available now from iTunes

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Read More
Watch: Kites – “This Jumped Up Boy In Livery”/ Exclusive Stream: Look, Stranger! Remixes Kites / On an upward trajectory – Interview with Kites’ Matthew Phillips

Photo Credit: Adam Shoesmith. Taken at Cargo, May 2012.

Watch: Kites – “This Jumped Up Boy In Livery”

13 Sep

When watching the new video for Kites latest single, “This Jumped Up Boy In Livery”, our initial and overriding thought was, ‘it’s very Matthew isn’t it?’. The Charlie Chaplin inspired routine, directed and choreographed by actor Christian Roe, fits singer Matthew Phillip’s dandy sensibilities like a favoured smoking jacket.

It is an astute choice of cinematic history to pay homage to, acting, as it does, as the perfect visual embodiment of the song’s wonderfully decadent self-indulgence. The putting on of the character before the desperate to please performance in front of an unmoved audience brings life to lyrics conceived following a period of self doubt. While Matthew’s introspection may have lead him to question the likelihood of his own success, “This Jumped Up Boy In Livery” leaves us in no doubt that it must only be just around the corner.

Following on from previous single, “Brother”, “This Jumped Up Boy…” continues the bands record of producing fiercely intelligent and entertaining electro-pop, which of itself should be enough to guarantee success. Add in the essential je ne sais quoi of their eloquent and engaging English gent of a frontman, and surely it won’t be long before Matthew is singing songs of celebration, not self-deprecation.

“This Jumped Up Boy In Livery” is due for release on 1 October, in the meantime, check out the video below.


Read More
In Pictures: Kites at Cargo, London/ Exclusive Stream: Look, Stranger! Remixes Kites / Kites Release New Track: “This Jumped-Up Boy In Livery” / On an upward trajectory – Interview with Kites’ Matthew Phillips / Listen: Kites Debut Single – “Brother”

In Pictures: Kites at Cargo, London

24 May

Long time Alphabet Bands favourites Kites took to the stage at London’s Cargo last night, in support of Jonquil, and rocked the house.

A sparse crowd soon became a legion of singing, dancing, bouncing happy people as Matthew Philips and co ripped through their set. You get the impression that these self-confessd ‘gig sluts’ would put the same energy and enthusiasm into their show if they were playing in front of 5, 500, or 5,000 people.

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See More Pictures: HERE

Exclusive Stream: Look, Stranger! Remixes Kites

1 May

Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemix!
In our head, that’s exactly what Look, Stranger!’s Thom Thumb was shouting repeatedly as he cut up and re-tooled Kites latest single, “This Jumped Up Boy In Livery”. His fist no doubt pumping the air repeatedly in euphoria as the track slowly ceased to be the intoxicatingly introspective synth concoction of the original and instead took on a kind of dark house vibe, peppered with light jazz piano, trance and even what sounds like a smidgen of UK garage (remember that?).

In fact that transformation is evident within the remix itself as slowly the vocals fade and become less prominent within the track, giving way instead to the keys and the almost Cut/Copy-esque percussion.

It’s not what we expected at all but quite frankly, that just makes us love it more. Take a listen to our exclusive stream below and tell us what you think.

The original, which you can hear on the Kites Soundcloud page (or follow the link below to read what we said when it was first made available online) will be officially released at the end of May. Keep your eye out for the video as well, which is coming soon.

Read More
‘L’ Is For Look, Stranger!
Listen: Look, Stranger! – “One For The King”
On an upward trajectory – Interview with Kites’ Matthew Phillips
Listen: Kites Debut Single – “Brother”
Kites Release New Track: “This Jumped-Up Boy In Livery”

With thanks to Merrington Music Management for providing the track.

Kites Release New Track: “This Jumped-Up Boy In Livery”

22 Dec

Yesterday Kites gave us all an early Christmas present when they released a brand new track, “This Jumped-Up Boy In Livery”, online. As we know from our chat with lead singer Matthew a few weeks ago, he values honesty in his music above almost everything, so it is not difficult to guess where “Jumped-Up Boy…” is coming from. It’s even less difficult when the singer himself posts accompanying messages like this one:

“Never before have I had the audacity to pen lyrics that are so indulgently self-pitying – and, for me, that’s saying something. Let’s just say that it has been one of those months.”

If the result will always be this delightful Matthew, we say do it more often. Like preceding single, ”Brother” the narrative is not only clear but framed in some very modern sounding retro synth melodies. There is a dash of Delphic about this track as well as just a pinch of the Human League, combining to make a truly intoxicating mixture.

As for the indulgent self-pity, pah. The very best pop music is built on a foundation of introspection, insecurity and even a degree of self-loathing. We’d much rather hear that than brash, self indulgent glorification of success and celebrity. You went to the VIP section of the club again? That’s nice dear.

Anyway, if Kites keep banging out tracks as sharp and entertaining as this, it could well be a long time before Matthew finds himself suffering “one of those months” again.

“This Jumped-Up Boy In Livery” is available via Kites Soundcloud page and you can stream it below.