A Review of Red Kites and support at The Ironworks,Inverness on the 20th of April, 2012, by Jim Kennedy. Photos by Thomas Bisset.
Originally scheduled for Room Two, the Ironworks once again host the Guildford-based Red Kites, this time launching their debut EP after a few select dates in Scotland.
First on the bill was Ryan McEwan, a member of Roadway out on a solo venture. His short set of self-penned songs and covers were warmly received by the growing crowd. Soon after came the atmospheric introduction to Alness’ Thousand Stars set. This was my first hearing of these boys (and girl). Their self-professed sore throats did mar the vocals somewhat but couldn’t disguise the powerful songs and Lauren’s otherwise powerful voice.
Harmony vocals filled out the already full and solid wall of sound. Arpeggiated guitars flowed into pulsating, throbbing sounds. Their short set came to a climax with an inspired cover of the Killers “All These Things That I’ve Done”. Have a listen to some of their music on Facebook, particularly “Phoenix”; keep this band on your to-do list!
The rapidly growing crowd were beginning to get more excitable, and Red Kites did not disappoint.The set opened with “Hold Fast”, a powerful hooky song which gave a clear message of all that was to come. While staying true to their rock roots, piano, glockenspiel and ukulele all featured to bring shades of light and dark to the set.
Liam Trevor’s original guitar lines were a great foil to Moteh’s voice and guitar. Andy Reeves and Ben Golding always provided a steady beat but also managed to lift each of the songs with their clever use of rhythm that would not be out of place on a folkier orientated band.
Each of the remaining songs from the EP was played – “The Artist”, “Peace of Mind” but the most touching moment of the evening was always going to be “Beat In Time”, a quite beautiful song documenting a lost life; his brother would indeed be proud. “Castaway” and newer song “Plans” also showed the depth of the band’s writing skills – fast and driving but maintaining an almost vulnerable, boyish charm.
Make no mistake, this is a talented young band of musicians with something to say and the skill to say it to the masses. Their next trip north will be to Belladrum in August, where their enjoyment and showmanship will be there for all to see. This is the sort of band that, with the right breaks, could go all the way.
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