Kappa Gamma & Kagoule – Nottingham Bodega Social Club, Wednesday June 20
(originally published in the Nottingham Post)
In order to showcase some of the Nottingham acts that will be appearing at the Splendour festival on July 21st, the Bodega has embarked on a series of five “Road To Splendour” nights. Ahead of shows from Natalie Duncan, Saint Raymond, The Barnum Meserve and Opie Deino, the season commenced with two young bands who first shared a stage at Rock City in December, supporting Dog Is Dead.
Teenage trio Kagoule have been steadily building their reputation over the past few months, and it would be a surprise if they remained unsigned for much longer. Musically, they have a knack of balancing light and dark, interspersing grinding, power-chord driven, grunge-derived workouts with delicate, reflective melodic sections. The contrast could be startling at times; when the shimmeringly lovely Made Of Concrete lurched into the brutal Battle Howl, it was hard to believe you were still watching the same band. Meanwhile, the three performers negotiated these switches with calm purposefulness, displaying an unshowy intensity that draws you right into their world.
Headliners Kappa Gamma opted for a different approach, with a relaxed onstage manner that made light of their considerable technical prowess. A single is due out in August on Nottingham’s Denizen Recordings label, and exclusive advance copies were available at the merch stand. Both tracks got an airing: the plaintive Just Another, whose inventive twists and turns are lashed together with a sturdy refrain (“you control it”), and the more expansive but equally unpredictable Wildfire, which couples Dog Is Dead-style chorals with intricate math-rock instrumentation. Sandwiched between them was a brand new track, only completed a day earlier, whose ambitious, episodic scope suggested that Kappa Gamma have only just begun to untap their full potential.