I’m sat in the press office, backstage, at Strawberry Fields Festival 2012. Harrowed by a hangover, I took to watching both Kyla La Grange and Young Knives, back to back. I thought we’d start like all irritating books do; at the end. Kyla La Grange is hotly-tipped by many in the industry and, since headlining The Guardian’s Band Of The Day Festival, the sky has become the limit for her. Teeming with expectation, I perched on the inner-barrier and waited for something special.
Kyla tried, oh, Kyla tried. I’m happy that she’s trying to do something interesting, something different – her music doesn’t resemble a churned out, British act, who rely on the guise of being a workhorse (I won’t say who I’m thinking of, I don’t want to offend Arctic Monkeys fans), but more like a foreign group. Instrumentally, there’s plenty of depth, and that offers substance in the texture so it’s interesting enough. However, unfortunately, the songs just aren’t potent enough. Sure, ‘Baby Blue’ is charming, twee and fairly unique, but the lyrical content was generally wince-worthy throughout. And for somebody who puts such an onus on her voice as a force – she just isn’t good enough. Sustained notes often wavered around just off of pitch and were provided harshly. I feel that if she didn’t come from the capital, and didn’t have a sexy name but was ‘Sharon Tyllesly’ from Grimbsy, nobody would give a shit. Anyway, she was still much better than a lot of bands, but wasn’t great.
Young Knives pulsated, twirled and squelched out song after song. The first few were not remarkable in any way, I could’ve been sat listening to The Hives. When I was just about sick of them - they played a great track. Whilst most of their set sounded like posh-punk, some glimpses were terrific; vocal harmonies, interesting changes in rhythm and pace, and unusual basslines being the features. Let’s focus on the positives.