Richard Brabin falls under the ethereal spell of This is the Kit

This is the Kit

O2 Academy Oxford

January 28, 2018

It’s probably fair to say that for better or worse, folk will continue to play a part in contemporary music for generations to come. Its ability to reinvent itself, using new vocal and structural narratives, is why we see it rear its lonesome and thoughtful head every year or two with new and innovative performers seizing the opportunity to explore new avenues, creating a deeper and more nourishing end product which still questions modern life while sounding… well, just very lovely.

This Is The Kit, aka Kate Stables, is one of these artists who can dig the best out of an often tired and predictable genre, finding nuance in saturation and poetry in cliche, and the ability to sell out a show at Oxford’s O2 Academy is cast iron proof that ears are always open to original thought and abundant creativity.

In terms of live performance, it truly is up there with the best. Stables strumming patterns, although complex and erudite, are played as if in sleepwalk and as naturally as to inhale and exhale. Her dreamlike but punctual guitar work washes out over the serene audience, seemingly tidal in its ebb and flow as it bounces from wall to wall, filling the venue with ethereal tonality.

Stables’ ability to find vocal lines that coexist with exquisite instrumentation is truly her tour-de-force. Her infectious, but never cloying, melodic euphony co-existing and inhabiting the music it sits beside.

Her 15 years’ experience as a performer, a lot of which without the bravado of her recent plaudits, has created in Stables a calm, deferential and charming persona that captivates her audience and allows us behind the curtain of the creative processes of a truly remarkable performer.

While folk music continues to bob up and down on the peripheral shores of 21st century music, you could be mistaken for questioning its ability to evolve and morph as the ever-increasing strength of the mainstream pulls us on with a relentless current.

It could, to an untrained eye, look like seemingly archaic genres such as folk may, as a result, be left out at sea. But don’t think twice, its alright.


5 / 5