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Albums Of The Week: Kid Kapichi | Here’s What You Could Have Won

On the followup to their explosive 2021 debut, the Hasting indie-rock foursome raise their game by simutaneously streamlining and turbocharging their hard-hitting sound.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The 11 songs on Kid Kapichi’s sophomore album Here’s What You Could Have Won are an excellent showcase for the Hastings quartet’s bigger, punchier, ‘beat punk’ sound, co-produced with Dom Craik from Nothing But Thieves.

A behemoth of a band on and off stage thanks to the local scene that nurtured them, their songs explore racism, in-work poverty, mental health, violence, frustration and all-consuming love with honesty and humour. Their music is studded with barbed wire hooks, bristling with the juddering shock of lived experience, the cathartic thrill of a balled-up fist relaxing into an air punch.

“The title Here’s What You Could Have Won sums up the feeling of missed opportunity,” frontman Jack Wilson says. “Being dragged right at a junction when you know you should be going left or screaming at the TV whilst someone picks the wrong answer on a game show. It looks inwardly at the U.K. and the decisions that have been made and how they have affected us.”

Lead guitarist Ben Beetham adds, “It’s not a concept album but it does have a running theme. We like to write songs about current affairs and what direction the world seems to be turning. As a result, we write as close to the deadline as possible to keep it relevant.”

Kid Kapichi — Wilson, Ben Beetham (guitars, vocals), Eddie Lewis (bass) and George Macdonald (drums) — have been making music together for over half their lives, in various configurations. Working in pubs, construction, motorcycle trade, anything. Driving nightshifts just to keep playing. Eight years of non-stop graft. “The bands that make it are the ones that don’t give up,” says Eddie. “We’ve sacrificed everything. Normal jobs, settling down, we put our lives completely on hold for our dreams.”

They got their big break from Frank Carter — he invited them to play his birthday party then join him on a major tour. After putting out debut album This Time Next Year independently in 2021, the band recently signed their first proper deal for followup Here’s What You Could Have Won. A deserved reward for all that graft.

The album’s first single New England is their most explicitly political song yet, with a searing guest verse from Bob Vylan. It’s a brutal dissection of the xenophobic Little England mentality. They followed it with Partygate polemic Party At No. 10 — praised by Liam Gallagher on Twitter, among others — which they tried to debut with a busking performance outside the nation’s most infamous rave venue before being dissuaded by Downing Street’s armed police. That won’t stop Kid Kapichi for long, though, as they’re touring the new album around the U.K. and Europe well into next year. Get involved.”

Listen to Here’s What You Could Have Won below, and come back this weekend to see my interview with Kid Kapichi frontman Jack Wilson.

 

Photo by Nick Suckak.