What has Kip got to do to have a higher slot on the bill at C2C? Here’s a guy who’s completely sold-out two headlining tours in medium-sized venues all over the UK, built a special, unrivalled connection with his UK fans and shown a loyal commitment to the UK despite losing money with every trip. Maybe next time will be his moment. The baseball caps were out in force, Kip t-shirts all over the place – the O2 was ready to rock.
As the stage was blacked out, that familiar bass drum kicked in for the intro to ‘Wild Ones’ – “we’ve been waiting all week….” – yes we have Kip, we’ve been waiting since last year actually! Those raspy vocals ripped through the killer, anthemic chorus as the atmosphere in the O2 cranked up to a new level. Kip’s got the ability to do that with very little effort; he oozes coolness on stage and his command of an audience is sublime. Right from the first drum beat, we were immersed.
‘Plead The Fifth’ followed, the opening track from the most recent album ‘Slowheart’. The intense electric guitar riff echoed around the arena with such power, and Kip delivered the vocal with great passion and emotion; you really feel like he’s lived every single lyric of every song and we saw that in abundance on Saturday. It wasn’t long though before he started delivering the hits, the first of which being the iconic ‘Beer Money’ which involved a whole lot of crowd participation for the chorus!
The energy level was maintained right up until ‘Hey Pretty Girl’ as he performed a string of his heavier, edgy material including ‘Just Another Girl’, ‘Come And Get It’ and of course ‘The Bull’ which seems to have become a cult favourite amongst Kip’s die-hards. I have fond memories of jumping around to this with a few hundred people at Shepherd’s Bush Empire back in October – good times!
Kip’s performance of ‘Hey Pretty Girl’ stunned everyone in attendance. It takes some real balls to take centre stage at the O2 with just an acoustic guitar and send the room into complete silence. That’s raw talent and not many would be able to pull that off with such ease. Soon after, the Slow Hearts launched into ‘Somethin’ Bout A Truck’ and all of a sudden the party atmosphere was back as Kip jumped off the stage to high-five his adoring front-row fans.
Kip brought the show to a close with his most personal song, ‘Guitar Man’, a beautifully-crafted song about the struggles of being a touring musician reaching for the stars. The phone lights gradually appeared around the arena and it provided a very touching end to a phenomenal performance. Next time, Kip HAS to be further up the bill – he’s earned the right and there would be nobody more deserving.
- Wild Ones
- Plead the Fifth
- Beer Money
- Just Another Girl
- Come and Get It
- More Girls Like You
- The Bull
- Bittersweet Company
- Hey Pretty Girl
- Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck
- Guitar Man