With the swagger of Happy Mondays and the politics of Crass, Kid Kapichi's sold out Birmingham show hints they might be Britain's next breakout stars

With various dates of their UK tour sold out, Hastings punks Kid Kapichi look set for breakout success in the wake of new album There Goes The Neighborhood

Kid Kapichi live
(Image: © @monkeychops_photography)

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British music is having a moment (again). Whether you want to liken it to the halcyon days of Britpop and Britrock in the 90s or the chart-invading clutter of landfill indie a decade later will likely depend on your vintage, but with bands like IDLES topping the charts and everyone from Bob Vylan to Nova Twins, Yard Act to Sleep Token and Creeper earning critical acclaim and making serious in-roads to the mainstream, it's hard not to feel like there's something very special happening on an island that otherwise seems determined to bury itself in the dirt.

Three albums in, Hastings' own Kid Kapichi might have not yet achieved the same breakthrough success as their contemporaries, but a string of sold-out shows across the UK suggests they're certainly on the cusp. Sure enough, the smaller room of Birmingham's O2 Academy is packed out just ahead of stage time, and as the bouncing dance beats of Groove Armada's Superstylin' play out over the PA, we get our first exercise in Kid Kapichi's unique cross-subcultural appeal as the guitarist on-stage tunes up playing System Of A Down's Aerials.

Therein lies the band's brilliance. As likely to pop up at Download or Welcome To Rockville as they are Reading & Leeds - and sure enough, they're playing both R&L and Rockville this year - the band distil over 40 years' worth of British alternative music in an addictive, funked-up package that touches in on everything from two-tone to baggy, Madchester, Britpop and beyond.

Bounding on to opener Artillery, the low-end hits like a brick to the gut, bouncing and lurching as it toes an atmospheric line between a rousing dancefloor filler and the end of the world. Frontman Jack Wilson exudes a likeable charm with enough witty geezer banter that we're half convinced someone stuck a pair of sunglasses and a football jersey on a Guy Ritchie DVD and turned it into a person, Weird Science style.

But beneath the veneer of quick humour seethes an anger at The State Of It All that burns through even the funkiest beat.  The band put punk through its paces as they switch between the insidiously catchy yet sardonic New England or Can EU Hear Me? to the furiously vitriolic ACAB anthem 999 and Smash The Gaff, dropping enough cheeky winks and nudges that you could almost miss the biting political commentary.

Jack isn't about to let their message go unheard, however. "They're still fucking in," he says disbelievingly after the balladic tones of Party At No. 10, the crowd breaking into a football chant of "fuck the Tories" in response.

For all the political messages, the band have some massive anthems in the bank too. Ode to growing up in the 90s Tamagotchi prompts a big sing-along, as do Party... and Suggs-feature Zombie Nation from latest album There Goes The Neighborhood, offered in tribute to fellow two-tone legend Terry Hall of The Specials. There's also room for some delightful daftness in the vein of Fit But You Know It in Subaru. Choosing to debut the song live in Birmingham, there are massive grins around as the chorus "her brother drives a Subaru/her dad's a master in Kung Fu" hits.

It's these songs that offer the biggest hint at how Kid Kapichi might yet break the mainstream, their songs just the right measures of infectious, righteous and so undeniably addictive that its not hard to imagine them conquering the mainstream before long. As the saying goes, this time next year, Rodders... 

Kid Kapichi's new album There Goes The Neighborhood is out now via Spinefarm. The band's UK tour ends at Kentish Town Forum tonight (April 12). Kid Kapichi have also been announced for Welcome To Rockville 2024 and Reading & Leeds festivals. 

Kid Kapichi Setlist Birmingham O2 Academy 2 April 10 2024

Let's Get To Work
5 Days On 2 Days Off
Rob The Supermarket
Party At No. 10
Working Man's Town
Zombie Nation
Can EU Hear Me?
New England (ft. Dumb Buoys Fishing Club)
Get Down
Smash The Gaff

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.