The Kills @ Oxford O2 Academy

The Kills @ Oxford O2 Academy

01/06/11

 

As part of their unusually small UK tour promoting latest album Blood Pressures, The Kills brought their gritty, violent and downright filthy garage rock to the quintessential English city Oxford.

The city, home to quaint buildings, thousands of colleges, millions of bicycles, and of course, the university, seemed an odd choice of venue for the band, but the intimacy of O2 Academy soon made the choice make perfect sense.

Instantly ripping into the jerky No Wow, the duo lifted the atmosphere in the venue but also gave off fumes of bigger and better things that were to inevitably come.

The band’s three year sabbatical was soon thrown out of the window, with both members dripping with what you want from a band like The Kills- raw energy, tension and aggression.

They roared through songs from all of their albums, crunching out crowd favourites URA Fever and Hissy Hissy, but they’ve finally found their real sound, with Blood Pressures the band’s most complete collection of work to date.

Kate Moss made a surprise appearance, although it was restricted to the corner of the room, just in front of the barriers, but it says a lot that her engagement to Jamie still doesn’t make him the coolest band member. Alison has emerged from The Dead Weather with increased snarling, an oozing sex appeal and a vicious attitude that culminated in her staring members of the crowd like a possessed she-wolf. There’s truly no other front woman out there who can compete with her

Despite this, they’re still capable of softer moments, with Alison morphing from angry vixen into an emotional songstress with The Last Goodbye and Baby Says, both showing off her more fragile and sensitive sides- sides that certainly didn’t win her NME’s Hottest Woman Award this year though…

Fried My Little Brains wrapped things in a typically and perfectly suitably frantic fashion, and the two bounded off backstage to mingle with their new famous friends and partners.

Forget them though, although they have may have helped lift the duo into the media limelight, it’s the band’s musical ability and raw passion that will ensure they go down as one of rock’s finest.

 

Andrew Skinner

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