Mercury Music Sessions – The Kills and Guillemots

Last week I got an invite I just couldn’t turn down despite finding myself in the most manic of work times…. The (ridiculously cool) Hospital club would play host to Barclaycards Mercury Prize session by The Kills and The Guillemots. I invited my regular plus 1 Dave along for the night, but our night would be made infinitely more fun by Michael and Kathryn, the PRs who had invited me to the gig. First up was the unique sound of the Guillemots. I warned everyone of the high probability of tears, Little Bear and If The World Ends from their masterpiece Through the window Pane are on a particular Itunes playlist that I turn to when in need of self indulgent melancholic ‘poor me’ session. Thankfully for them they were omitted from the setlist the only old song being the peppy Trains to Brazil. Their new material seemed to go down well with Fyfes pure voice resonating beautifully in the compact auditorium and the bassist making wonderfull kinetic rhythms throughout. Their trademark almost whale like noises were still present too, surging a dreamy and otherworldly sound throughout the tracks.


Next up was headliners The Kills.. while I have been aware of them and a few of their tracks, most reports I have read have been relating to Jamie Hinces relationship with supermodel Kate Moss….. and Alison Mossharts work with The Dead Weather of course. I was looking forward to actually being able to take in their music and see what it is all about even if Kate Moss and friends were cheering heartily at the side of the stage.
Jamie walks on stage in a shy and understated manner while Alison oozes rock chick sexiness innately as she struts on stage attending to her backcombed hair as she does. With sweaty hair covering much of her face during the performance,Alison sings in the direction of her bandmate while he appears to be oblivious to it completely in his own musical bubble looking down at his guitar. A little wry smile and extended eye contact every with an audience member every now and then makes you think that his static performance is down to a mixture of shyness and being in the moment rather than any sort of rock star arrogance. The majority of their music shares a common theme… its extremely sexy, there’s something about the dirty riffs , the repetition or certain lyrics and something you just can’t put your finger on….I can just imagine people dancing seductively to it, with dirty hair, smudges eyeliner and drink in hand…. and I like it.
During the show it was a pleasure to have a rare glimpse of Alisons more vulnerable side when we saw her stand in one location using her voice to its best advantage with a track that seemed to hold some emotional importance to the singer… Jamie Hince looked on proudly during this part of the show, she was greeted with a lot of encouraging heckles from side of stage…
When the duo left the stage they did so united with arms over each-other shoulders apparently pleased with how their new tracks had been received.

If anyone gets an opportunity to go to a Mercury Music Session I’d throughly reccommed it, as it is being filmed for Channel 4 the lighting and sound quality is much higher than your average gig…. What a pleasure! x

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