7th October – The Roundhouse
It may be that in interviews The Kills’ lead singer Allison Mosshart is known for being reserved compared to her English counterpart Jaime Hince, but on stage the opposite is true. At the Roundhouse this evening, Mosshart’s bleached blonde hair moves like the flames of a raging fire as Hince wields his smokey, blues-tinged riffs, which seems fitting given the title of the band’s first album in 5 years, Ash and Ice, was named so after Hince threw his cigarette into a drink he had finished with. With their full band set up, the pair seems to mirror the towering volcano images that appear on the backdrop on stage this evening, both in sight and sound.
Despite the fact that the band’s latest effort sees them turn more towards samplers and synths due to a hand injury that rendered Hince unable to play guitar whilst he recovered, the songs from Ash and Ice blend seamlessly with songs from their back catalogue. New single ‘Heart of a Dog’ opens the set and tumbles naturally into ‘URA Fever’, while the anthemic guitar line of ‘Doing it to Death’ seems to add a church-like atmosphere to the circular expanse of the venue. The smoldering tension between Mosshart and Hince reaches several climaxes in the set, which sees Hince use Mosshart’s mic stand as a guitar slide, and Mosshart drop down towards Hince’s guitar pickups as he quite literally thrusts out the final chords of their debut album classic ‘Monkey 23’.
With the weight of a full rhythm section at their disposal, The Kills seem to set the songs from Ash and Ice ablaze this evening whilst merging them masterfully with their back catalogue. And given that The Kills’ first ever gig was in London, the date of which Mosshart has tattooed on her left wrist, tonight feels like a truly heartfelt gesture.
Buy: The Kills – Ash & Ice