Clean Cut Kid @ Soup Kitchen, Manchester

Fledgling Liverpudlian quartet Clean Cut Kid carved a post-Halloween indie triumph at the Soup Kitchen last night with a stirring performance exhibiting vigour and versatility.

The latter was the most pleasantly surprising of all in light of a pre-conceived notion that the band could provide one or two catchy tunes with little meaningful substance.

Gladly, they eased past those minimal expectations.

Moreover, they did so charmingly, from an initial chat that expressed a relaxed down-to-earth aura as they joked about only drinking coconut water now, to a purposefully intimate, anthemic 40 minute show.

The set started energetically with Runaway, the band’s latest single, conscientiously written by mighty-bearded frontman Mike Halls on the day his student loan ran out.

With a catchy chorus and beaty bounce, it’s a song that tackles its subject matter with optimism, and cheers of ‘hey’, on an electro pop sound.

Crucially, it captured the room allowing the band to delve into the mellower breadths of their spectrum.

Brother of Mine is one of those, possessing elements of anthem aside jazzy rifts that impress in flamboyancy before Vitamin C provides a burst of Haim-like energy.

The latter was the band’s first single and became a hit after the band’s appearance on the BBC Introductory stage at Reading Festival this past summer.

By this stage it was evident that this time next summer we’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more.

Then came Jean, the poignant curtain closer to cap a memorable viewing and solidify that view.

All in all, while autumnal air filled the city’s night sky in a fittingly humble and grimy venue, Clean Cut Kid provided warmth that left a resounding impression.

And a sense that their future is truly full of promise.

Thankfully, there is a lot more to come from the band, literately and figuratively, with their debut album lined up for a June release.

Even more immediately, a Manchester-return is pencilled in at Gorilla on December 3.

On this evidence and if fresh musical talent is your thing, you’d be ape to miss it.

Image coutesy of BBC Introducing via YouTube, with thanks.

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