Samuel Hall

Review: Kingsley Chapman & The Murder @ The Cluny

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Kingsley Chapman & The Murder

Upon the death of popular Teesside band The Chapman Family, frontman Kingsley Chapman had no plans for the future. Fast forward over a year and he’s back with a new band, having already performed a handful of well-received gigs.

One of these gigs was at The Cluny in Newcastle on February 28. The venue was buzzing with excitement, and I too was eager to hear what Kingsley Chapman and The Murder had to offer.

The band entered the stage – despite being in the crowd just five minutes earlier – wearing donned elegant suits and dazzling sequinned shirts.

“He had no style, he had no grace,” Chapman growls as he opens his long-awaited set. However, this could not be said of The Murder. With delightful, sultry keys and an ominously drawling violin building upon the staple rock sound, this was a delight to listen to.

The first track was epic. Standing at more than 10 minutes long, it was an intensely brooding tale of violence and self-loathing. Its opening tricked the somewhat unruly audience – those who had come expecting an experience similar to the frontman’s former ventures – but not for long.

As the band crashed through their set it became increasingly difficult to discern one song from another as Chapman laboured to speak following his full-hearted, loud, screaming performances, although this proved to be no detriment to the quality of the music.

With each track, the band turned up the noise and became even more experimental. And, in a venue such as The Cluny, in spite of its snug charm, experimentation and class is vital in order to capture the crowd’s imagination. The Murder did this well.

After the first few songs, the band returned to a more familiar style. Chapman returned to his angsty, post-punk roots with a terrific anthem of anger and pained screaming. The frontman dropped to his knees with his microphone tied around his neck in homage to the book the band were there to promote, How I Left The National Grid.

Following this, the band vacated the stage and after the obligatory chants from the crowd of “Up the Boro” had subsided, the crowd were left to quietly consider what they had just seen. The set was a triumph of elegant art punk.

If Chapman had no plans for the future in 2013, he must have some now, as The Murder look set to become a staple of the North East music diet with their frenetic stage shows and a uniquely beautiful sound.

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