The launch of this album was, entirely unsurprisingly, one of most enjoyable gigs I’ve been to in a long time. I think Lloyd from Peenko was officially having The Most Fun He Has Ever Had, it was sweaty as fuck, and the whole experience was just fantastic.
As someone rather wedded to the morose and the uncomfortable, when it comes to music, I think the best way to explain how to take Kid Canaveral is to repeat a conversation I had with front-man Dave McGregor a couple of years ago.
We were watching a band called Popup play at The Voodoo Rooms, and for those who don’t know them, Popup were a band very much on the verge of breaking through a few years back, only for the album release to take longer than expected and their momentum to kind of fizzle out in the meantime. They had some cracking tunes though, and Dave told me that they were the band who made him realise that, contrary to the prevailing indie orthodoxy, you didn’t actually have to be angsty all the bloody time. As he put it, everything he wrote up to then tried to be angsty, and he just wasn’t very good at it (“…and it was fucking shite” were his exact words, if I remember).
Anyhow, after that revelation Kid Canaveral became, simply, brilliant fun. It became about hooks and energy and bounce, and you can tell from watching them play: they look like they’re having an amazing time, and that joyfulness makes it almost impossible not to have one yourself.
Musically, this album couldn’t be as bouncy all the way through as it might have been, without risking losing the audience to the monotone of constant fun – that was something I thought the band might do, and something they have sidestepped so easily I feel a bit stupid for thinking about it. The pace is really well varied, and they showcase a much greater range than their preceding three singles suggested.
It’s all about hooks and hummability though, and there are a few songs on here which don’t quite get going, in my opinion. Left and Right, On Occasion, and maybe Talk and Talk don’t quite ignite for some reason, and I couldn’t really tell you what it was. And tragically, they have left the brilliant Stretching the Line off this record – possibly my favourite song of theirs to date – but then they more than make up for that with the gorgeous Her Hair Hangs Down, and they confidently wait until right at the very end to drop that little gem into the mix.
So while I might personally have trimmed a couple of songs from the playlist, both for length and because a couple don’t quite tickle my fancy, but in general this lot might not be changing the world, but they are a very good band and a splendid antidote to the earnest folk pish which prevails around here (and which I do love very much, of course)!
Photo Credit: Princess Biscuit