Wednesday, 20 October 2010

323 KITCHENS OF DISTINCTION, Flow, Reading Alleycat "Live", Thursday 13 May 1996

Surprisingly, gig buddy Clive needed some arm twisting to come along to this one, but I managed to persuade him! Got there late - missing first band Choke - just as main support, local heroes Flow, took the stage. An intelligent female-fronted band, their expansive, slightly folk-tinged pop sounded in parts like a more upbeat St. Etienne, and in others like a mid period Simple Minds or Waterboys. Overall impressive, with some good tunes.

The Kitchens, currently trading under the abbreviated "Kitchens OD" moniker, and apparently "between record deals", as it were, ambled on at 10.45 and played a sparkling and shimmering guitar pop set, kicking off with the excellent "Quick As Rainbows". Far from sounding like a band down on their uppers, they peddled their plaintive, emotion laden and pristine atmospheric pop with an unexpected confidence and gusto, and vocalist Patrick Fitzgerald proved a humorous orator between numbers, with a nice line in ironic self-deprecation (particularly his "stalker" story).

Highlights? The more in-your-face new number "Feel My Genie", and the classic "The 3rd Time We Opened The Capsule", still brain-achingly haunting after all these years. Great stuff overall from a band I've latterly come to appreciate, and wish I'd done so earlier; I do hope the Kitchens are actually between contracts, rather than scaling down operations to knock it on the head in the near future. We can't really afford to lose bands as precious and emotive as these - they've still got it!

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