There’s an odd feeling to watching the headline band set up their own equipment because from one second they can go from sorting their mic stands and amp leads out looking like an ordinary human being in the process, then in a flash, they become a different species, captivating a crowd and having them in the palm of their hand. This is a skill like no other, it comes with belief, talent, hard work and practice, 4 things that Kassassin Street have in abundance.
Not short on confidence they open with their first single ‘Royal Handkerchief Ballet’ which starts with a riff that gets you moving along straight away and it’s one that won’t let you stop until the song finishes – and even then you can’t get the riff out of your head. ‘Radio Silence’ gets people grooving along as front man Rowan Barnstable perches at the edge of the stage looking off into the distance of the tiny room. He’s captivating to watch, especially into the build up of the final drop when he’s singing “Let’s take the blocks / And build them higher / Let’s raise this up” – at that moment he has the audience in the palm of his hand.
New single ‘Yeah It’s On’ has people’s hands reaching for the stars while they dance along with Rowan, as the combo of Ryan Hill and Andy Hurst, on guitar and keyboards, has people in a trance that even a hypnotist would struggle to get them out of. The band finish on their Kasabian-like anthem ‘Centre Straight Atom’ that has people jumping up and down like there’s no tomorrow.
Kassassin Street sound like a fully formed band who have been touring for the past 10 years. These boys are one of the most exciting new bands around and for good reason: frontman Barnstable treats the show like they are headlining Glastonbury with the mic around his neck and arms aloft taking in the crowd’s cheers. Not even microphone problems were gonna hold him back. The South’s sweethearts are in for a hell of a 12 months – welcome to your new favourite band.
Words by Callum McCormack