For many in Kingston, England, the 6th August 2012 was an average Monday - work, a bit of rain, nothing to write home about - but for the lucky few hundred (including myself) crammed inside The Fighting Cocks pub watching Kids In Glass Houses, it was all play, a lot of sweat and plenty to tell the world about.
To celebrate the fourth anniversary of their first album 'Smart Casual' and its re-release on limited edition vinyl, the Welsh rock band (in conjunction with local, and legendary, store Banquet Records) played their debut in its entirety to two sold-out matinee shows with a few fan favourites thrown in for good measure too.
Support for both shows came from pop-rock's latest rising stars Natives (formerly of Not Advised).
Opening up at the 5pm matinee, Natives squeezed themselves onto the stage to deliver their super sunny sounds. If the rain was falling outside onto Old London Road, it didn't matter as the temperature inside was already rising to an intense heat. With sweat visibly dripping off the musicians, frontman Jim Thomas warmed up an already sweltering crowd. Not intimidated by the fact that their material was unfamiliar to most of the audience, Natives gave their all and were greeted enthusiastically by thirsty KIGHhards (if that wasn't a a slang term before, it is now).
While the crowd eagerly awaited Kids In Glass Houses, the atmosphere reached fever pitch and the venue continued to get hotter. As the headline act were forced to walk through the crowd to reach the stage, it was a humbling hark back to their early gigs. Wasting no time before starting their third show in under 24 hours, the band begun with riotous album opener 'Fisticuffs' and continued to play 'Smart Casual' from start to finish followed by B-side 'Satan's Cellar' and 'Dirt' tracks 'Youngblood (Let It Out)' and 'Matters At All'.
Ranging from the unashamedly poptastic and camp rendition of 'Girls' to the crowd's raucous karaoke to 'Raise Hell', Kids In Glass Houses performed 'Smart Casual' with as much passion as if it was their first but enough experience as if they had dedicated the past four years to playing those 12 songs. From the moments that Aled Phillips sang so close to the edge of the stage, he used the crowd to balance, to the finishing impromptu sing-a-long stage invade from fans, this gig was a truly up-close and personal affair but not one that will be repeated again (or for that matter, should be).
We've loved Smart Casual since 2008 (and 'Dirt' and 'In Gold Blood' in between too) and we will do for the next four years, but now it's time to get excited for Album IV being recorded in December. This was a nostalgia-inducing show to remember but Kids In Glass Houses are about the future too, not just the past.
Highlight: Mass jumping to 'Smart Casual's energetic opening four songs.
Worst part: Bad body odor (myself included - sorry guys)
Pleasantly surprising moment: A cheeky sampling of Prince's 'Purple Rain' as an outro.
Best anecdotal moment: Impromptu (and probably ill-advised) mid-set jagar bombs delivered to the stage from a fan.
Over-all verdict: ***** 5/5
The flamingos are dead, love live the flamingos.
Did you see a KIGH 'Smart Casual' show? If so, are you suffering from post-gig blues?
(Don't forget to check out Dora's blog and photos of KIGH's earlier Kingston show HERE too)