The Kissaway Trail / Blackflower / The Eye Jab

The Cluny, Newcastle on Mon 3rd Sep 2007

For those of you, dear readers, that shy away from gushing praise in favour of the harsher, more embittered prose which often passes for music criticism these days, I will warn you now, move on to the next piece, for the next five hundred words or so will be of no interest to you. This is my colours pinned firmly to the mast, my position stated, my taking of sides. The Kissaway Trail are, in my opinion, the best new band in the world right now. There, I said it. And I stand by it. More on that later though.

Support tonight comes from two of Newcastle's finest acts. Opening the evening are Blackflower, who always thrill in their magnificence. They open with a cover of The Pale Saints' shoegazing anthem 'Sight of You', and proceed to bring the house down. A low key take on the jangly wonderfulness of 'Crying Shame', and the euphoric 'Kissing in the Midday Sun' are highlights in this set which promises so much from a band rapidly gaining fans on the local scene.

When The Eye Jab take the stage, my heart sinks. Their sound is awful. The keyboards are hissing, the guitars are feeding back, and the vocals are too low in the mix. Something made me stick around though, and I am glad I did. By the end of their opening number, the gremlins appeared to have worked their way out of the system, and The Eye Jab are left to do their thing. 'Alison', a song about the popular girl at school who grows up to become a tramp, is intensely personal, and very moving in places, whilst 'The Lakes' could have been written by any number of 80s indie bands, but it wasn't, it was written by The Eye Jab, and they are clearly very proud of it, and for good reason. It is a soaring number with an emotional pull which defies logic. This set could have been dire, but it was anything but.

The Kissaway Trail don't look like all conquering world beaters, but if there is any justice, they will be. Hailing from Odense, Denmark, tonight they are a long way from home in the back room of Newcastle's premier music venue. It's small, it's cramped, and it is just perfect for the revelatory experience that is The Kissaway Trail live. You see, the venue contrasts with the music magnificently, and makes the thrill of the soaring, beautiful sounds all the more exhilarating.

They open with the Arcade Fire-esque '6 to 1', and you can sense the mood in the room elevate. It is an uplifting, grandiose piece with a quality which delights in a way that is impossible to pinpoint. In much the same way as the aforementioned Arcade Fire, the Kissaway Trail make a sound which is far bigger than their component parts, and part of the their appeal is the anticipation of what might come next.

What comes next is 45 minutes of blissful music utopia. 'Tracy' is elegance itself, whilst 'Bleeding Hearts' and 'Soul Assassins' are simply devastating. The highlight though, in this highlight ridden set, is the immensely wonderful 'Smother+Evil=Hurt'. Close your eyes and it could be the best song that Mercury Rev never wrote. Hearts break along with smiles - this is a song laden with every kind of emotion possible, and the delivery is outstanding. If anyone had kept up their resistance to The Kissaway Trail for this long, it was surely crushed by the final chords of this most delirious of music trips.

What matters now is what band do next. They will be touring with Editors in October, and if I were Tom Smith and co. I would be worried. The Kissaway Trail have what it takes to upstage even their exemplary hosts on that tour, and it will be the perfect opportunity for them to break into the mainstream, which is surely where they deserve to be. See them, while you can still get a ticket.

article by: Tommy Jackson

published: 17/09/2007 15:45


sorry, we currently have no gigs listed for this act.