Live Review: To Kill A King at Leadmill, Sheffield. 28th October 2013.

To Kill A King
Leadmill, Sheffield
28th October 2013

After being introduced to To Kill A King through Bastille, I instantly fell in love with their gorgeous songs, beautiful tonality and great, unique vocal harmonies. They are a band I have seen live once before, supporting Bastille, and they were great. They have an upbeat folky tempo to a lot of their songs which saw the crowd get hyped up for the main act but for me where they really shine is in the quieter, acoustic tracks. Here emotion in lyrics are evident and songs are either stripped back to the bare bones or left to flow and build organically into a song which encapsulates the best of all musical worlds.

With all that in mind I was extremely excited to be seeing the band again and this time as the main act. Being headliners that obviously meant there would be a longer set but I was intrigued to see how a band so famed for brilliant renditions of their own songs and covers [check YouTube under Ralph’s Balcony Episodes for some highlights] would take to their own stage and headline a set.

It was definitely something amazing to watch, the band were in their element completely and put on a wonderful show from the very first chords to the very last. Creating moments to get people dancing and singing a long straight away by playing current single ‘Rays’ as the second song in tonight’s set, it started a crowd-wide good mood straight away. One of the other good things bar the music was the atmosphere the band created: chatting between songs, having a laugh with the audience and making a light hearted, jokey moment out of what could have been a downer on the band’s night with their banners constantly falling down, blocking them out from people’s view. It felt like a true small show where you feel like you can communicate with the band and less like the staged chats you get with many other acts.

‘Wolves’ and ‘Howling’ were perfectly showcased their melody, vocal harmonies a plenty and big beat sounds running throughout. The release of their debut album ‘Cannibals With Cutlery’ earlier this year and the recent re-release, made this the perfect opportunity to play more songs from that album, including the title track which ebbs and flows with melodic plucked acoustic guitar strings.

Saving their biggest three songs til the very end starting with the hook-laden ‘Funeral’ and it’s huge drums, trumpets and a chorus that dares you not to sing along. That was followed up by ‘Choices’ a fan favourite after the hugely popular version on YouTube featuring members of Bastille and some of their other musical friends. It’s a beautiful song and one that has earned its place in the heart of fans with soft verses through to huge chorus vocals and a brilliant rhythm.

After leaving the stage for what must have been the shortest encore ever the band returned for one final track ‘Bloody Shirt’, which they played completely acoustic in front of the stage and in the audience with crowd participation from singing to clapping and stamping of feet. The band said they tried to create a moment you can take away with you and they truly did, it was quite a special thing to witness and a wonderful way to end tonight’s show.

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