My fourth time seeing Hastings’ finest, Kid Kapichi, opened the door to my second opportunity to witness the riotous SNAYX on stage* and behold a new favourite band, Monakis, unleash their special blend of angst. As I’m a southerner in the north, it was an exciting night with a homecoming feel that provided an almighty flavour of what my local music scene would’ve been if I hadn’t relocated.
For a cold February night, the hallowed Brudenell Social Club couldn’t have been warmer. Bodies flooded the venue and the sold-out gig saw full-time KK fans emerge in their masses, and early doors, too — after all, you’d have been daft to have missed Monakis.
The Brighton trio were heavy from the off. Their dissident-youth vibe was entangled with a furiousness and each stabbing riff and thud of the drums were superbly well-paired to the coarse vocals. No wonder they’d been invited on tour; they’re undoubtedly a live wire of an act to watch in 2023.
They offloaded the brand-new ‘Screw Loose’ onto the moshing crowd, belted out the ferocious ‘Rich’ and ‘Fake News’, all before they ended with ‘DripTease’. It was a stark and very buzzy reminder that this is a new generation of punk that we’re enjoying. I’m wholly here for it — much like the lads were Brudenell’s pre-gig pies and mash.
Almost a calendar year since last catching SNAYX (at Oporto), it wasn’t an option not to return for a long-awaited round two. It was a banger-to-banger blitz of their catalogue of tunes so far, with the newly revamped and unveiled ‘I’m Deranged’ one that got the crowd riled up. For me, ‘Cigarette’ was as massive as ever, and the as-yet-not-dropped ‘Boys in Blue’ was definitely a track that piqued my interest even more.
While the SNAYX boys might have their demonic performance faces and bass-rich sound down to pat, their unsung hero is their drummer, Lainey, who was right on beat and took every note to another level. Their cover of slowthai’s ‘Doorman’ was further testament to that. And given that their show came just hours before new single ‘Buck’ was scheduled to land, we all left knowing we’d have a hell of a parting gift to look forward to after midnight.
In all honesty, Monakis and SNAYX delivered enough to have made my night right there and then. So the realisation at that point that Kid Kapichi were still to grace the stage left me positively fizzing. As the minutes slipped away and the room darkened, a ticking counted down their walk-on and the venue became a hive of their pioneering, politically-driven, punk-fused alt rock.
Although they were there to promote their latest album, ‘Here’s What You Could Have Won’, what’s cool about these guys’ setlist was the inclusion of older anthems like ‘Glitterati’. As KK navigated a sea of their musical newbies, from the electronically-charged, bop-along-to ‘I.N.V.U.’ to the acoustic and almost spoof-style ‘Party at No. 10’, frontman Jack Wilson reiterated how class a Leeds show always is — and he eventually professed it had easily been the best leg of the tour. He was absolutely right when he stated the supports were obviously headliner-level calibre, too.
After scrabbling around in their dressing room for some giveaway prizes, Wilson’s tongue-in-cheek ‘Here’s What You Could Win’ segment was a laugh that kept everyone engaged, despite its unorthodox nature. But the winning moments for me? Hearing ‘Cops & Robbers’ and ‘Smash the Gaff’ — AKA the two holiest of songs from the record — again. What a bloody treat.
So if you’re after a take-home message, these three outfits serve modern rock that fights the good fight, points the finger and asks the tough questions; there’s no sitting back or rolling over, and the music faultlessly gets you fired up. I’ll be back for more, duh.
*With thanks to SNAYX for the guestlist entry