SIMPLE KID IN CRAWDADDY - 04.06.06
With around 500 avid fans filling the intimate venue and “tickets only” being yelled from the entrance, it’s obvious that Simple Kid’s low-key (and late night) return to his home country’s capital is going to be a special night. Back when Mike Skinner was deemed revolutionary for recording an album in his bedroom that didn’t really sound like it had been made in his bedroom, Kieran Mc Feely had done the same thing, except his LP was actually amazing. Despite having been recorded in 8 tracks on a laptop with a (presumably) bad soundcard, it featured massive stadium-filling drums, perfect choruses and harmonica playing that led reviewers to the lazy belief that this guy was some sort of reincarnation of Bob Dylan. In actuality, he was a more focused, pumped-up and country-tinged Badly Drawn Boy or Beck, with a penchant for lyrics depicting himself as a pining underachiever with a distaste for modern society.
Tonight, he opens with King Kong, a newbie from his forthcoming album (simplicity entitles the record ‘2’) and regardless of it not being a groundbreaking departure from his sound (if it ain’t broken…), it’s brilliantly anthemic and received by the fans like a lost brother might be, if he was actually a really good song. Alternating his instrument (guitar, banjo and harmonica; often simultaneously), he plays over backing tracks which are projected from Cubase on his laptop to a screen behind him, and if he feels like a spot of improvisation, he just pauses the track and does what he likes. Innovatively, his laptop also conducts the audience in a karaoke version of Running, despite it being the song’s first ever performance.
Golden oldies such as Staring at the Sun, Truck On and The Commuter warrant mass singalongs (“this is like a really bad version of Queen at Wembley arena!”) and the Kid looks genuinely overwhelmed, particularly during The Commuter’s rousing rebel chant of “I said to my boss ‘go fuck yourself’” and when we effortlessly recite the endless list of facts of The Average Man that even he can’t remember. Unfortunately, his ecstasy soon turns to dismay when a small group of hecklers, uninterested in new material, call a halt to his presentation of a touching piano-led tune which - despite only around 90 seconds of undisturbed beauty - has the air of a classic. Visibly bothered by the few drunken “fans”, he tied things up as quickly as possible with a selection of songs from his debut. Despite being deprived of hearing some of the exclusives that his Cubase setlist hinted towards, what we heard of SK2 promises it to be another masterful piece from the eclectic, talented and thoughtful multi-instrumentalist.
Staring At The Sun
Link stolen from Music For Ants