Clean Cut Kid @ Arts Club
The last night of a tour or theatre performance is often described as being the best. Not only was it guaranteed to be a success as Clean Cut Kid were back in their native element, to make it extra special, they chose this night only to film the video for their latest track, ‘Deafening’. Paper beards were handed out at the door, so that everyone would look the part for the video. It may seem an odd idea, but considering Hall’s extremely long real life one, it really wasn’t that surprising, and it was good fun seeing everyone wear them.
The Peach Fuzz set the precedent for the night, intensifying the illuminous glow of the pink, yellow and blue stage with lead singer’s spangly silver pants and singing with such passion as though they were headlining at their own gig.
Despite their short set, they made a return to the stage later on to accompany the band with the more sentimental track ‘Jean’. Dedicating songs to particularly special people in their lives is a common trope of Clean Cut Kid, ‘Jean’ included, a song which pays tribute to Halls’ nan who sadly passed away a few years ago. It tells a heart-rending story of love and loss and was performed well with their harmonious vocals which emphasised the familial theme and universality of the song. The similar song, ‘Red, Green, Black’, wasn’t received quite as well though, as the heartfelt tone that they were trying to convey was lost to the slightly rowdy crowd. However, I was glad when they decided to play the song again from the beginning, as its personal, sentimental lyrics deserve to be listened to and form as much of the band’s overall identity as the cheery, indie-pop fizziness of ‘Vitamin C’ and ‘Leaving You Behind’ do.
‘The ultimate thing is to take the deepest emotions and work it into a message that isn’t miserable’.
Halls, talking about his recently released song ‘Emily’ on EP ‘Painkiller’, certainly achieves this with setting his and Evelyn’s soothing vocals against a funky Fleetwood Mac-esque backdrop. They finish the night with this song which explores the pain and suffering that their friend Emily is struggling to deal with, but, punctuated with uplifting encouragements, such as to ‘smile, try not to cry, ‘cos it only makes your eyes wet’, otherwise ended their tour and left the audience in good spirits.
Fresh from taking a break from touring for three years, and with the recent release of their EP, Clean Cut Kid performed with fiery passion throughout the night, making the arrival of album number two even more hotly anticipated.