This Is The Kit

Live Review | Town Hall, Kirton in Lindsey | Review by Allan Wilkinson

The current music scene is awash with inventively created pseudonyms, whether it be the odd Badly Drawn Boy, the occasional Joan as Police Woman or just plain Tensheds, it can be slightly confusing and at times difficult to keep up with who is actually who.  This Is The Kit’s bassist Jesse D Vernon, otherwise known as Morning Star, claims these names are there to make the artists sound more interesting than they actually are.  The current vehicle for Kate Stables’ songs is This Is The Kit, an interchangeable collective, which tonight as always was represented by this enigmatic singer-songwriter, alternating between banjo and guitar, joined by fellow Winchester-born songwriter Rozi Plain, who provided voice and clarinet, the aforementioned Jesse D Vernon on the ‘low end’, Neil Smith on guitar and Jamie Whitbey-Coles on drums.  The band’s appearance at the Town Hall in Kirton in Lindsey tonight was a mellow affair, with songs selected from both of Kate’s albums to date, her 2006 debut Krulle Bol and the more recent Wriggle Out the Restless.  Initially starting her set alone on stage with an earlier song, “Moths” from This Is The Kit’s debut album, Kate soon surrounded herself with the full band in order to perform a handful of extraordinary songs including “White Ash Cut”, “Sometimes the Sea” and “See Here”.  With her banjo harnessed in a small bum-bag type pouch instead of the usual strap, Kate had the audience mesmerised with her almost ethereal style of singing and playing, assisted by fellow Winchester singer Rozi Plain.  With performances of both the band’s current single “Moon” and their forthcoming single release “Earthquake”, reminding us of some of the band’s finest melodies, Kate also performed the delightful “Two Wooden Spoons” featuring some fascinating whistled refrains, worthy of nightingale comparison.  Finishing with the trance-like “Easy Pickins”, Kate and co gently left their mark, appealing to an audience of all ages.  The three-piece version of Morning Star kicked off the night with forty minutes of mellow songs from the pen of Jesse D Vernon.  Having a long time association with This Is The Kit, Vernon opened with the song “Morning Star” for a set that also included “Serious Guy”, “Great Day” and “I Heard Beauty Calling”, together with some intriguing dance routines and inventive slide guitar manouvres.  Sandwiched between both performances, Rozi Plain played her own solo set, introducing some new songs including “Humans”, the single destined for her long awaited follow up album to 2008’s Inside Over Here.  Starting her set with a traditional song from the Northumbrian minstrelsy “Blow The Wind Southerly”, Rozi sang her beautifully laid back songs to a respectfully silent audience with a set that also included such songs as “Let’s Go” and “You Can See My Boat”.  Three fine sets, five musicians and a small but well formed audience once again made for an excellent night in the sleepy side of North Lincolnshire.