Readers of my blog may have noticed that I often write about Kids In Glass Houses, but I’ve never introduced them. I can’t ‘introduce’ a band who are recording their fourth album, but I can explain why they matter to me. I want people like you (yes, you - hello there!) to understand why I write about a band you might not know. So if you don’t know Kids In Glass Houses, don’t just skim over this post. STOP and read this because it’s not too late to ‘discover’ them for yourselves.
It was March 2009 when Kids In Glass Houses first entered my life. They were supporting Fall Out Boy on their UK tour, a fact I didn’t know until hours before they were onstage. When KIGH emerged on stage, others around me sang along but I barely knew a single word. I recognised the chorus of ‘Give Me What I Want’ and I could vaguely recall a video of “that one with people in lots of different rooms”, but I couldn’t show the same enthusiasm as the bare-chested males around me. However when I exited the venue, I picked up a flyer advertising Kids In Glass Houses’ album. I intended to buy ‘Smart Casual’ immediately but in all the hysteria of a surreal night, I forgot about Kids In Glass Houses.
When I finally did buy ‘Smart Casual’ (for the first time, I now own it on three formats), I burnt the CD to my iTunes, before listening to it in its entirety. Because of that fatal mistake, every unfamiliar ‘Smart Casual’ song on shuffle was destined for the ‘Skip’ button. By the time I’d revisited the album on a whim, its follow-up, ‘Dirt’, was due for release. It wasn’t until I heard the riff of ‘Youngblood (Let It Out)’, the soaring chorus of ‘Matters At All’ (which either makes me grin like a loon, or triggers tears), the mantras of ‘Sunshine’ and ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ and, yes, even the pop sensibilities of ‘Undercover Lover’ that Kids In Glass Houses became a staple food of my listening diet.
The next time I saw Kids In Glass Houses live was as a support act, again, (this time they were opening for Stereophonics) at the Brighton Centre, again. Despite these similarities, this was a very different experience. This time, I knew the band’s songs, I could sing along - I was officially a ‘fan’, and I was proud of that. Admittedly things weren’t ‘perfect’; I still laugh at the image of one woman rubbing her ears as she complained that “They don’t sound that loud on the radio”. However, it was ‘perfect’ for me.
When their third album ‘In Gold Blood’ was released, I waited for Kids In Glass Houses to return to Brighton. In May 2012, they came back to play The Great Escape Festival. After that something changed. I was no longer happy with waiting more than a year between shows. I suddenly caught the ‘bug’. It was just two weeks later when I made plans to go to Redfest to see them again, and before I’d even got to the festival, I’d already bought tickets to hear them play ‘Smart Casual’ in full in Kingston. In retrospect, it’s strange that I’d initially dismissed the same album which I was ecstatic to hear live. Because of that, I can never claim to be a “fan from the beginning”, but I’m guessing that the fact that you’re reading an ‘introduction’ means you can’t either.
It doesn’t matter if this is the first time you’ve ever even heard of Kids In Glass Houses. Maybe you clicked here out of curiosity because you had nothing better to do than watch cat videos. If that’s the case, I’m really grateful that you stuck with me that long and I hope that you stay with me just a little longer to listen to the music I’ve been talking about. “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture, it’s a silly thing to do”. I can’t explain why you should listen to Kids In Glass Houses, I can only attempt to tell you my story of discovery. If my rambling ‘introduction’ inspired just one of you to listen to Kids In Glass Houses, then I’ve done my job well. If not, I'm sure I'll try again soon.