Monday 3 September 2012

Kids In Glass Houses // Interview & Live Review

Kids In Glass Houses have had a busy summer playing at a variety of festivals up and down the country. Their 2012 touring schedule is soon coming to an end but not before they take to the stage at Darlington’s newest venue- The Hub. 

Est.1987 caught up with the Cardiff quintet to chat about festival season, holding the Olympic torch and swimming!

Kids In Glass Houses bassist Shay

Hey guys! Have you played in Darlington before? What can we expect from tonight’s show; we heard you’re testing out new songs?
JOEL [Fisher, guitar]- No, we’ve never ever been here before.
ANDREW [“Shay” Sheehy, bass]- We are playing one new song, yeah. It went down really well last night in Glasgow, so hopefully it will be the same this evening.

How’s the summer been so far for Kids? You’ve been playing smaller more independent festivals; have you enjoyed it?
SHAY- Yeah, we’ve done a lot of those this year; it’s been a bit different playing festivals that we hadn’t even heard of, but they’ve all been great and we’ve done a lot of writing for the next album. So we’ve been kind of busy in our own way.

Kids In Glass Houses in Darlington
You played some of the Olympic Torch gigs- did you get to go to the actual Olympics?
JOEL- We didn’t get to go, no! We got to hold the torch, that was about it, when it was un-lit as well [laughing]. The gigs were good though because it was a chance to play to a slightly different audience; it was full of families really, but it was good.
SHAY- It was great to play for people that would never get to see us, and all the shows were fun and we had the best weather of the whole torch relay.
JOEL- And we had like a four song set; pretty speedy, shortest set we’ve ever done.
SHAY- We’d get there early in the morning because of security and stuff, sunbathe all day and play for twenty minutes.

You’ve just released a special vinyl pressing of “Smart Casual”, your debut album. Vinyl is becoming popular again; what are your thoughts on it, of having that physical copy with all artwork?
JOEL- Sleeping Iain [Mahanty, rhythm guitar] is the biggest vinyl collector of them all; wherever we go he has to pick up a big haul...
SHAY- Drags us round the shops [laughing]. It’s always something that we’ve wanted to do and this company came up to us and asked us if we were keen and we couldn’t really turn it down. We played some shows to support it and it’s had a really good response and it looks wicked as well; nice for us to keep.

Lead guitarist Joel Fisher
Your most recent album “In Gold Blood” was the first time you’ve incorporated the styles of the bands that you listen to (into your own music); Do you feel that it’s the album that’s most true to your roots, especially with it being recorded in the studio live?
SHAY- I don’t know, it’s kind of a hard one to say. We definitely set out to achieve what we did with it; whether that was the right thing to do or not I don’t know, but we went out on the line with that one. It was a lot of fun to record. We feel really comfortable doing it like that; setting up a little room and bashing it out live and seeing what happens. It’s just an album that I think you have to make to move on as a band; I think it’s always been in us to make that album.

“The Best Is Yet To Come” was a song on “DIRT”; do you feel that with every record you are getting better and better?
JOEL- Yeah, we always like progressing, I don’t think we like turning backwards and going back in time.
SHAY- We don’t like to cover old ground. We’d like to think that we get better with every album, better with age! [laughing].

You’re headlining the Merthyr Rock festival in Wales, which will be your final festival and touring of this year. Are you looking forward to it, especially with it being back home in Wales?
JOEL- Yeah, we’re really looking forward to it; we went last year. It’s a new festival and last year was really good. Our friends in The Blackout headlined it last year and we’re doing it this year, so it’s a really nice way to end the album cycle and get all the friends and family down. Then as soon as we do that we’ll be really focussing on the next album and getting in the studio and see what we come up with.

What else is next for Kids? You’ve changed labels now and as you said are going back into the studio. You worked with Jason Perry on your two previous records; are you going for a hat trick?
JOEL- We’ll be trying to find a new label towards the end of this year and just writing for the rest of this year.
SHAY- Yeah, Jason, we don’t know yet. We loved working with him and he does bring out good things in us.
JOEL- We don’t want to repeat ourselves so we’re not too sure yet.
SHAY- We’re just going to see how it goes. We’ve got a bunch of songs written and really know where we’re going to go with this record.

Kids In Glass Houses front man Aled Phillips
Will the vibe change again?
BOTH- Yeah!
SHAY- We never want to repeat ourselves and we have a strong idea of where we want to go with this record and we’ll just see what happens and who wants to do it and who’s most keen I guess.

Aled [Phillips, lead singer] and Philip [Jenkins, drums] enter the room

JOEL- How was your swim Phil?
ALED- Shay got in trouble
PHIL- [laughing] Yeah, Shay got in trouble He was trying to take a picture of us in the pool. It was like children’s hour; kids on floats and all these massive inflatable’s and Shay was taking photo’s!
ALED- I know you’re not meant to take pictures but we thought he’d get away with it and I don’t think the siren was for us but it seemed like it!
PHIL- There was a siren to tell the wristbands that they’ve had their time in the pool…
SHAY- I thought f**k! Was ready to run.

Thanks guys!

And here's what happened when Kids In Glass Houses took to the stage...

Shay on stage in Darlington
Thunderous screams erupt from the crowd even before the band takes to the stage and as the distinctive opening chords of “Give Me What I Want” begin they become deafening. Lead singer Aled Phillips is already in amongst the crowd and Kids In Glass Houses aren’t even on the second song; the night is set to be riotous. The audience screams at the opening chords of every song; they know this band inside out and they are guided through classic album tracks such as “Artbreaker I” and “Youngblood [Let It Out]”. 

The band then bring things a little more up to date with “Animals”, from the newest album “In Gold Blood”. Typically anthemic and catchy, it however has a noticeably different vibe to songs from previous records; much rawer and grittier but just as captivating. “So far, so good”, announces Aled four songs in and then challenges the crowd to give more; “Let’s see if any of you can f*****g sing”, before bursting into “For Better Or Hearse” using the mic stand as a baton to conduct the audience’s participation. 
Kids In Glass Houses lead singer Aled in the crowd at The Hub

Older favourites, such as “Undercover Lover”, are played alongside newer offerings including a brand new song which Kids are playing for only the second time. If the twanging guitars and infectious hooks are anything to judge the new album by, then fans are in for a real treat. And after the new song interlude, Aled is raring to kick start the crowd’s energy. “Let’s ruin some smart clothes”, he shouts and as “Fisticuffs” breaks in so does the pit at the front. By the end of the song Aled has the entire crowd kneeling on the floor, ready for the song to kick back in and the crowd to spring back up in unison. The vigour throughout is unrelenting and Kids In Glass Houses deliver an endless amount of catchy choruses. “Let’s just get hot and sweaty” encourages Aled. And by the end of tonight’s set, which concludes with the soaring “Matters At All”, it is fair to say that the audience has obliged Aled’s wish. Kids in Glass Houses delivery a magnetic performance pulling in the entire audience here in The Hub tonight. 

With their 2012 touring cycle coming to an end it cannot be denied that the Cardiff five-piece have had an amazing year and, with another album on the horizon, things are only set to get even more exciting. 

To see even more photo's of Kids In Glass Houses at The Hub click below...

Photo credit: Danny Peart Graphics