Kittie at Camden Underworld, London – 23/01/2010
Support – Forever Never, Malefice, It Dies Today
So after a slightly rocky start to my Saturday (I blame the trains), Myself and Darren were finally on our way to the Underworld, Camden, London to check out long time female metallers Kittie, supported by Forever Never, Malefice and It Dies Today.
As i’m sure most people do before heading into the Underworld, we decided to pop into the Worlds End pub, located directly above, to have a pint. Now this wasn’t just a regular “drink before a gig”, because in fact we were actually there early to have a chat, and interview the quite frankly brilliant Malefice – Which if you haven’t already, you can check out RIGHT HERE
After our chat with Malefice about all things metal, we took to a raised area next to the stage, which If you have ever been to Underworld, you will know how small both the stage, and venue are. Watching the crowd slowly trickle into the venue, one thing that surprised me was that the ratio of men far outweighed women, even considering the headlining band are all female.
Before the main act of Kittie we had the opportunity to check out three great support bands, and first up were Essex band Forever Never, who came on stage all shirted up with neatly styled hair, generally looking smarter than your average metal band normally would. You can tell they have an image they definitely want to put out there. Even though there were a few noticable die-hard fans going crazy in the crowd, it felt like the band had a tough time warming the crowd up. unfortunately it didn’t help with the guitarists appearing quite bored at times and not moving around much. Forever Nevers vocalist more than made up for this though, bounding about the stage like he had just downed a crate of red bull. For some odd reason their vocalist’s appearance reminded me of Jack Black, which was further reinforced by his hand and leg movements, somewhat like the moves Jack Black would normally do while performing.Even though there were some negative points to the performance, there were also positives – the bands set appeared flawless from a technical standpoint, and everyone seemed to have a good time listening to them.
Next up to take the stage were the mighty Malefice, a metal band formed in Reading, and the support band that appeared to have the most amount of fans in the crowd. we happened to notice their bassist requesting a song to be played before they came on stage, which left us wondering for a while as to what exactly it could be. Much to our amusement it turned out to be “The Boys Are Back In Town” by Thin Lizzy. Coming out on to the stage Malefice are definitely all about the music rather than appearance – Long hair, Metal beards and covered in Tattoos. The band wasted no time when they came out on stage, and got the crowd head banging straight away with their brand of blisteringly good metal. Before we knew it a couple of the guys next to us had disappeared into the crowd below, starting a circle pit within minutes, which is an impressive sight considering the tiny size of the venue. Malefice charged from song to song, commanding the crowd with ease, even giving London a Song off their latest album that they hadn’t played before on the current tour – definitely a nice touch by the band. Compared to Forever Never there was definitely a lot more interaction between band members and the crowd which helped with the intimacy of the gig. All in all seeing Malefice was definitely a big highlight for me, and a band that I would highly recommend to see if they play anywhere near you.
As with all things you enjoy, it’s always over too quickly, and the same can be said about the Malefice set which left me, as well as the crowd wanting more. Quickly taking to the stage next are american metallers It Dies Today. Admittedly they aren’t a band I’ve listened to before, So I was unfamiliar with the songs played during their set. Again there seemed to be quite a few big fans of It Dies Today in the crowd showing their support, but a fair portion of the crowd seemed to disappear a few songs into the set to grab a drink before Kitty. Their guitarists seemed extremely enthusiastic and moved about a lot, although most of the time it was to thrust in the face of the front row, or to act like they were tossing off their guitar necks – which started to get a little repetitive a few songs in. unfortunately despite their efforts the set felt mediocre in my opinion, and although the crowd responded on a few occasions they couldn’t quite achieve the level of crowd participation Malefice had.
A few minutes pass since It Dies Today leave the stage and more of the crowd hanging around the edge / bar start to filter into the main standing area ready for Kittie to arrive on stage. You can tell how excited the crowd are by the screams when their bassist simply walks across the stage to setup and tune. The wait for Kittie is slightly longer than the space between support bands but before we knew it the lights were dimmed, and the intro track “Kingdom Come” from their latest album “In the Black” starts playing, much to the crowds delight, who start going crazy almost instantly. 1 Minute later and the lights come glaring back on, revealing the 4 women of metal blasting into the 2nd track on In the Black – “My Plague” with their bassist Ivy Vujic windmilling and already showing the crowd how much of a good time she’s having. Morgan Lander also shows how effortlessly she can switch from her thunderous screams to pitch perfect singing during the 3rd track “Cut Throat”, being supported by Drummer / Vocalist – Mercedes Lander. Combine this with the amazing technical ability of Lead Guitarist Tara McLeod, and Kittie have no problem showing their fans they are a force to be reckoned with.
Within the first couple of songs you can tell the band are extremely tight and flawless, watching each of the band members play off of each other, whilst genuinely having a good time and a laugh on stage. A few songs in and we spot the rather odd sight of a guy who managed to crowd surf his way to the front row, who then proceeded to take his shoe off and wave it at Morgan for a few minutes. After the song ends Morgan tells the crowd that the guy was trying to steal her set list, so she stood on his hand – Much to the cheering and amusement of the crowd. After all these years Kittie still have no problem getting the crowd moving, and again at one point we catch a glimpse of someone who managed to get up onto the corner of the stage, only to attempt to dive into the crowd, who then moved out of the way, leaving him to faceplant the concrete. A few seconds pass and he’s back on his feet rocking out to Kittie.
With a set list also containing songs such as Flowers of Flesh and Blood, Never Again, Pussy Sugar, Burning Bridges, Breath, Forgive and Forget, This Too Shall Pass and Sorrow I know, Kittie have certainly shown the crowd tonight that they can still bring it as hard and heavy as they day they formed, but still be in touch with their fans, as Morgan Jokes with the crowd between songs, even getting their crew to set off a few party poppers after mentioning they brought their own pyrotechnics along with them.
Overall the night was a complete success, despite not even filling the venue, myself, Darren and the crowd had an amazing time. For me it’s been a great start to 2010, and I’m sure it will continue to be both for Metal and for all of the bands involved in tonight’s gig.
Many thanks to Gareth Jones for Kittie’s setlist.