As chicks, it’s pretty safe to say that we are drawn to chicks being grouse and playing music while they are doing it. Whilst I was originally drawn to The Kills via The Dead Weather via Jack White, I can now say that The Kills are my current musical obsession. Currently in Oz for Splendour in the Grass, showcasing their new album Ash & Ice, us Melburnians were pretty lucky to score a sideshow at the Forum, and I was able to see them for the first time.
The connection that Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince have with each other is palpable. At one point, when Mosshart played “That Love” solo after the encore break, Hince gave her a shoulder squeeze in support and encouragement, and it was truly touching in its simple and wordless way. From where we stood it was hard to tell if Mosshart was emotional or perhaps nervous to perform the song on her own, but she did amazingly and really, the emotion in the room was unmistakeable.
Besides their connection with each other and the way in which that translates through their music, their energy and vibrancy was out of control. Mosshart throws her mane of (currently red) hair around like a banshee possessed, not skipping a note or becoming breathless with the exertion, which is a feat in itself. Well, to me, considering I get puffed putting the bins out. As for Hince, I’ve not seen a guitarist treat his guitar with equal parts reverence and disdain in that way for a long time. Reverence for the way he could make his music shine and reverberate in the hearts and souls of the 2000 punters in the room, but a complete disdain for the fact that he can’t get ENOUGH NOISE out of it. He slaps it and twists his arms around the fretboard trying to coax just that bit more. A highlight for me was the way he used the mic stand to wring extra punch and extra grind on those strings.
Playing crowd favourites from their back catalogue such as “No Wow” and “Future Starts Slow” and teaming them with new singles “Doing It To Death”, “Heart Of A Dog” and others that are sure to become classics (“Siberian Nights” is my *faaaaaaavourite*), The Kills really did kill it here in Melbourne Town, and there was not a single soul in that crowd that weren’t warmed through on one of our coldest nights.
words: Mandy Campbell
images: Stephen Boxshall
(images captured at the 3RRR event)