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MP3 of the Day #856: The Kin

 
By on Monday, 6th October 2014 at 10:00 am
 

Aussie band and gleeful ‘robbers’ The Kin will be touring Oz later this month to continue their Thick as Thieves tour, then will continue on with dates in America in November. Because they’re such nice blokes, they’re giving away their track ‘So Emotional’ for free. Grab it by clicking on the download link on this page, which also lists all their live dates through to the end of 2014.

 

Live Review: The Kin with Find Vienna at Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA – 9th October 2012

 
By on Wednesday, 17th October 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

The evening started off early for me this night. I was privy to a ‘musical robbery’ that the Kin was going to commit before the gig and I was poised to capture it on film. The band storms into an unsuspecting establishment like a diner, sings a song while pacing throughout the place, and then leaves. And not always on their own – they have been kicked out of more than one place! I had first learned of these 2 years ago when I saw them playing support for the Coronas. I have been wanting to be present at one ever since. With that in the bag (see the video at the end of this post), I headed over to the venue for the main event.

Opening up that night was a formerly local singer songwriter named Struan Shields. Odd name, but a lovely voice. He seemed very young up there just him and his guitar, but after joking that he felt naked, he had us all on his side. The second support came from Find Vienna (pictured above), a Philadelphia four-piece. Since I am originally from Pennsylvania, when they took the stage, I had images of ‘south Philly’ flash through my head – low cut vest tops, combat boots, and gold chains. However, when lead singer Patrick Mencel opened his mouth, it was more like an angel singing than the roughness I expected. Not to say this is an angelic band or anything, they have the full on indie rock sound one would expect. Their EP ‘In Flight’ is a delightful find.

My third time seeing the Kin play and I can still say that I have never been to a show quite like it. They can make it feel like you are the only one they are singing to. From writing lyrics that go directly to the heart of the matter to bringing the show off the stage and right down on the floor, they make every gig an intimate affair. Sometimes the band can get you to sing along, some can get an effective call and response going, and others even let the audience take over singing the lyrics. The Kin, however, can do all this, even when not everyone in the audience is familiar with the music.

Originally from Australia, brothers Thorald and Isaac Koren started this band, but it really came together with the addition of one-of-a-kind drummer Shakerleg. Seriously, ONE-OF-A-KIND. The man plays his entire kit with no sticks whatsoever, just taped up fingers. Ouch. Plucked straight out of a prime location on the NYC subway system, this former street musician has all kinds of street cred to get the place rocking.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQnXWjIrMhA[/youtube]

After about five songs, Isaac Koren leapt off the stage into the audience with his characteristic “Alright you lot!” and headed midway into the crowd. Thorald found him with an unplugged acoustic on his shoulder as they started into ‘America’, their tribute to their adopted country. Shakerleg soon joined them rolling a packing case into the circle, banging and stroking it like the true street musician he is. After three songs prowling, dancing, and singing with the crowd, the band reassembled on the stage to continue their set, peppered with yet to be released songs. The encore found them back out amongst us as the audience took over the singing of fan favourite ‘Abraham’. And, as gracious as they come, the band took their bows as we all belted out “When all is said and done, could we somehow be sons of Abraham”.

I have gotten the same incredible high from all the shows I’ve seen theirs. You come away from it feeling like you are part of it, like you really made a difference to the show. Musicians always say that they couldn’t do it without their fans, but it feels like the Kin really needs it. They do it for the punters and nothing else drives them as hard. They like to shake it up, they like to shock, and they will continue to do anything to get people involved. Their next album should be released early in the new year, and I hope they are back to tour it in my area soon.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmrrmLzAUCk[/youtube]

 

Live Review: The Coronas with the Kin at Red Palace, Washington, DC – 8th March 2011

 
By on Monday, 14th March 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Not including a short and self-described harrowing first attempt at touring Irish bars across North America previously, this current tour the Coronas are on is their first proper one. They stopped by DC’s Red Palace Tuesday night to my great excitement. The band just finished up touring Europe as support for the Script; now it was time for them to pull out all the stops. The mind boggles at the fact that the Coronas are a big deal back home in Ireland, yet they aren’t signed in the UK or America yet. While everyone else has gotten their knickers in a twist over the new Radiohead, Strokes or Arctic Monkeys, I yearn for music I feel that has more heart, and surely songs that sound amazing live. I already had it in my mind the Coronas must put on a good live show if their faithful fans keep selling out the venues they play, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The opening band for the night was the Kin, a pair of brothers from Australia (Isaac and Thorald Koren) augmented by a percussionist they found in the subways of New York City named SHAKEALEG (not making this up). I had read that they were a synth band, so I was prepared for a terrible mismatch like electropop Delphic being paired up with more straightforward rock band the Temper Trap last autumn. Synth band is a lazy description – Isaac Koren plays synths and keys, his brother Thorald plays guitar and this bloke SHAKEALEG plays an anything-but-normal looking drum set-up, sitting literally on top of what I think is a conga drum?

This band shows their versatility between pop, rock and soul. The brothers Koren have beautiful harmonies, showcased perfectly when they jumped down into the crowd and performed two songs acoustically. Both bands that night were good storytellers; the Kin told us a story about ‘Wind Over Southern France’ and how they got invited over by some French people to play that song over in the land of the song’s inspiration. They’ve got a lot of talent and I hope they do well.

The Coronas’ all too short set list was a nice mix of music from 2007’s ‘Heroes and Ghosts’ and 2009’s ‘Tony Was an Ex-Con’. Now, the title of the song and album is related to the aforementioned disturbing experience they had with unwittingly hiring an ex-convict named Tony to drive them around our great continent. Long story short, the truth was stranger than fiction and the band thought it deserved to be immortalised in song. I like the mix of slower ballads (‘Heroes and Ghosts’, ‘Someone Else’s Hands’) and faster, up tempo numbers (‘Listen Dear’, ‘Far From Here’). It was awesome to hear the whole crowd singing along to the song that singer Danny O’Reilly admitted ‘made’ them, ‘San Diego Song’. It also happened to be guitarist Dave McPhillips’s birthday, which was alluded to several times and the audience even sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him after they’d all left the stage.

I don’t know what it was about last week, but both live shows I caught had very energetic, almost bordering on mental dancing from their frontmen. Several times I was sure O’Reilly was going to accidentally land in a split position in the middle of the stage. He never stopped moving. And the band seemed really tight, really enjoying playing with each other, reveling in playing a town for the first time and getting a great reception. If the DC show was a good litmus test for the rest of the country, I think the Coronas have a very good chance of breaking America. And beyond.

More photos and set list after the cut.
Continue reading Live Review: The Coronas with the Kin at Red Palace, Washington, DC – 8th March 2011

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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