Originally published on Radsound


Having released their single ‘Salt Water’ earlier this month, Guildford five piece, Red Kites took to The Haunt in Brighton to launch the single, amongst a very stellar line up of talent, in style.

First up were Brighton’s own Dub Fossils, a fresh faced 8 piece collective that, as the name would suggest, proved to be fine purveyors of brilliant experimental reggae, dabbling from dub to ska throughout their set. With stage room short – though almost entirely disregarded by the band themselves, the outfit produced waves of energy that upped the pace of the crowd in an instant, and encouraged by the sheer infectious musical output, it was increasingly hard not to dance along. For such young musicians, they certainly produced a musical edge a cut above the rest and with their debut single out now, they are likely to only keep going stronger.

Taking things in a different direction, penultimate act of the night Rory Indiana provided hard-hitting rock to crush any of the light heartedness of the set prior and replace it with towering riffs and emotion-fuelled vocals. Tinged with a lighter sound, frontman Rory Kaye’s vocals built up around the guitar heavy tracks to contrast the wall of sound the quartet created perfectly, and was more than enough to send the crowd into circle pits and frantic chanting along to tracks from their Empiricism EP, released earlier this year. Having sufficiently warmed the crowd up, the outfit ended with a roaring version of single Sanctuary and left everyone suitably in anticipation of the evening’s headliners.

 Since the release of last year’s New Life Ignites EP, Red Kites have been swiftly snaking their way through the Guildford scene and into the outer world, and with the release of another celebration worthy single upon them, Brighton only seemed the correct place to christen it – so when taking to the stage with the eruption of Plans, the crowd were already more than well and truly behind them with every word. 

Bass fuelled Lizzy Jane then paved the way as an easy crowd pleaser and proof of the solidly brilliant rockier tracks the oufit can produce, before two lesser known tracks set to be on the band’s next EP were played, the first, Cast Away, featuring a ukelele line fit to unsettle anyone and a folk tinge as woeful as expected, and the second, a piano driven and equally sombre with emotion affair but still, as always, with a fine sparkle of musical genius.

Upping the tempo one again came Hold Fast, the outfit’s first single – still sounding as anthemic as it did back in 2012 – before Beat In Time came as another standout highlight from the set, being the only song in recent memory that’s enough to evoke tears in 90% of the audience every time it’s played, and with Parrott’s emotive storytelling vocals backed by the band on top form, this time was no exception either – an impressive feat, and an even more impressive track. 

Regaining the pace one last time was previous single, Threads, with another chant worthy chorus providing more of the high standards, before the set came to it’s short but sweet conclusion with the song of the night, Salt Water, building into a refrain so catchy you can’t help but sing along whilst filled with more of Trevor’s infectiously intricate guitar lines and a sparkle of funk from Hernandez on bass it may just be arguably the band’s best musical output yet, and without a doubt one of the best ways to end the best Red Kites show yet – things are only going up from here.

Salt Water is out now here.

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