Review: And The Kids (Botanique, Brussels, Nov. 7 2016) by indecibelge

For the first time ever, Jealous Sounds has a special guest blogger,  indecibelge ! He recently had the opportunity to see And The Kids in Belgium, and we now have the privilege of hearing about it first hand.

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Honesty wants me to warn you: I’m not accustomed to concert reviews, nor am I a journalist. Let’s be clear: I love And The Kids’ music, and what follows won’t be impartial. Yet it will be honest, as I truly think what I wrote. That being said, allow me to tell you more about the “And The Kids” show I attended. This Northampton (Massachusetts) band was touring through Europe in late 2016, as a warm-up band for The Low Anthem. I wouldn’t have missed that chance, and I went to their Brussels show. As a warm-up set, the performance was very short, yet very intense. It took place in La Rotonde, a small room from Le Botanique (Brussels), and that strongly increased the intimate feeling that naturally slips through their songs.

The quartet opened their show with “Picture”, which is a smart choice to quickly capture the audience. The disturbing moaning from Megan Miller’s keyboard/synth brings a tangible tension that draws attention. Starting with a simple basis of punchy, rhythmic pinches from Hannah Mohan (lead singer and guitarist) and Taliana Katz (bass), backed by Rebecca Lasaponaro’s effective drums, this title tends to be universally accessible. But that simplicity is just a front appearance: the song reveals itself to be much more elaborate when the artists start to play with vocal harmonies and intricate chords. The interplays grow stronger and stronger as the song goes, until the different instrumental parts clash in a loud and intense cathartic relief. “Picture” was the perfect song to demonstrate once and for all both their technical mastery and their emotional sharing abilities.

After that awesome start, I can’t remember the exact order of the next songs. But I’m sure of one thing: And The Kids were on the right tracks. We were spoiled as both “Glory Glory” and “Cats Were Born” were performed. Coming from their first opus “Turn to Each Other”, I usually refer to those titles as their “Bohemian Rhapsody”. They both are ambitious, theatrical compositions that smartly and successfully cluster a wide array of moods and effects. Listening to those songs consists in a rich journey full of surprises, and I suspect that a few members of the audience couldn’t help but wildly (and shamelessly) shout “HA HEEE! HA HEEE! OH! OH! OH!” on “Cats Were Born” chorus. Well, I must confess: yes, I did! And it felt awesome!

The band also played “I Can’t Tell What The Time Is Telling Me”, from their second opus “Friends Share Lovers”. This song is a calm one, and the verses almost sound like a lullaby. The mood is very peculiar and powerful, and I find it difficult to put words on it. It’s loaded with melancholy, introspection, regrets, misunderstandings, unsaid things and fate. It looks dark, said like that, but in an unexplainable way, this title is not deprived of light or hope, and finds itself to be really healing. The different feelings blend in a bittersweet and enjoyable taste. The song finishes with an instrumental part of which Hannah and Megan took advantage to make their special pedaling move I was waiting to see. The song was a nice, comfy and quiet place to cocoon in.

Then And The Kids offered “No Countries” to their audience, an anthem for universal tolerance and peace. Its composition is pure musical genius and sustains the lyrics intentions. During the first verse, it almost feels like each musician is playing a different song in their own little corners, without any concern for the rest of the band. And yet their playings blend in a rich harmony that sounds as a whole. Then starts the chorus, and every musical lines suddenly melt and tune together to deliver the same, strong message: “we want no countries, we want no boundaries, we want no fighting, we want no bombing”.That universal injunction about countries and boundaries lights up differently and seems relevant regarding Miller’s situation. Sole Canadian in an American band, she has been deported from the USA because of VISA worries. That’s why an European tour offered them a wonderful opportunity to evolve together. “Since I have been deported, complains Miller in reason, performing as a full set was only possible a few times, in Canada. It only happened around 5 times, which is clearly not enough”. Regarding that fact, we Europeans were lucky to have the full band on stage.

Do I need to tell? The show was amazing! I was longing to see And The Kids on stage, and I was afraid to face a disappointment; like when you expect too much of something. I shouldn’t have worried about that. Everything went really well, except it ended too early! Plus: I could meet and share a few words with them, and it was a nice, sweet moment. I had a few spare questions to ask, but I was so happy I forgot about it. Next time I will not. Indeed, as we were talking about the possibility of another tour through Europe, “we’ll be back”, they assured me. Guess what? I’m waiting forward and will be back too!

Website – www.andthekidsmusic.com

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram – @andthekidsmusic

Upcoming shows and tickets –http://andthekids.com/tour-dates.html

Buy music-https://andthekidsmusic.bandcamp.com/merch

Discover the band – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI_NuBqXCvk

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