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:: The Kills ::
10 March 2003 / The Roadhouse / Manchester
By Marc Jones

Everyone it seems wants a piece of The Kills. The Face magazine for the aesthetics, the N.M.E for the marketability, Primal Scream for tour partners and hopefully everyone else for some good dirty rock’n’roll. Similar demands have frequently been placed upon many acts that have emerged during the past eighteen months who like to crank up the distortion in an attempt to re invent the punk ethics of 1977.

But no such act have appeared to match the mystique of a band that is built around a bizarre combination of Jamie Hince from old indie outfit Scarfo and Alison Mossart of the now defunct Florida hardcore types Discount. The Roadhouse is once again packed with leather and ripped denim-clad students who want to know what all the fuss is about surrounding a band who only really emerged last autumn. As they take to the stage one cannot help but compare them to the White Stripes due to the fact that they are a male female duo, but all comparisons to the latter disappear as soon as Mossart launches into ‘Superstition’ with the fury of Kim Deal circa 1992.

If this is what all the media attention is about then it’s understandable because few bands manage to open a set with such raw energy without having to smash up their guitars. The Kills certainly made an impact on the somewhat startled crowd who were spoilt further by the aggressive ‘Fuck The People’ that was pulled off ferociously without becoming a parody due to the obvious swearing. As the set continues they fail to disappoint with the seedy ‘Cat Claw’ and the rapid ‘Black Rooster’. But the highlight of the evening was surely ‘2 Dollar Love’ a blues driven number that highlighted the sleazier side of their sound.

After literally half an hour The Kills left the stage but in such a short time they had certainly convinced the audience that they are not just another garage rock band looking to make a fast buck on the style bandwagon. Where so many have failed it seems like The Kills will succeed as they manage to find the perfect balance between image and content without becoming patronising. So upon this evidence The Kills are highly recommended and following the release of their brilliant debut Keep On Your Mean Side the list of admirers looks set to grow and grow.

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