Live Review: Calva Louise - Night People, Manchester 06/03/2019

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Touring in support of their debut album ’Rhinoceros’, we caught up with Calva Louise as they brought their dynamic live show to Night People, Manchester.

As one of the most exciting bands around, Calva Louise are also one of the most humble. Taking the time to speak with fans before the show, and managing their own merch table after their set, it’s not hard to say that it won’t be long before the band are playing bigger venues without this intimate experience.

First support came from local lads Sugarstone, calling their opening set for Calva Louise “a huge opportunity”, the Preston based band pulled in a considerable crowd for their early stage time. Through their punchy basslines and clap along tunes, Sugarstone eagerly proved they might have just made it onto the growing list of ones to watch out for this year. The final song, which regrettably I didn’t catch the name of, was heavier than the rest of the material. It seemingly ended before going into a bold instrumental leaving the crowd in huge admiration, many of who were unfamiliar with the band prior to this set.

Next up were Kid Kapichi, a band I’m glad to have finally caught live after hearing only good things. The Hastings based four-piece have created quite the name for themselves over the last year or so, with a few prominent support slots and radio plays backing their name.

Addressing the crowd after the first song, “night people… and the venue” before going into ‘Revolver’, it quickly became apparent that the Libertines-esque double frontman scenario adds excitement to their live performance. As the set went on with ferocious energy it’s fair to say that Kid Kapichi stunned the crowd.

“This is our penultimate song, it’s called 2019”, before playing latest single, the band talked briefly about “hating this part” but mentioned how they were selling T-shirts to help them out on tour. Every band has got to start somewhere, and if the sale of a T-shirt means they can go on tour, then get buying that merch because Kid Kapichi are really worth it!

As the enthralling set came to a close, Kid Kapichi left the crowd with ears ringing and minds wandering, judging by the performance, it’s really not going to be long before this band head out on their own headline tour.

The crowd, who have been relatively tame until now, step forward to become more compact in the already intimate venue. After relentless touring over the past couple of years, creating a real buzz about themselves, Calva Louise dropped their debut album just a few weeks ago. Touring on the back of ’Rhinoceros’, we were amongst some of the first to hear the album live.

Walking on stage to the Countdown theme song, the crowd were geared up for a humorous, yet wholesome evening with a truly promising band. Going straight into early release ‘I’m Gonna Do Well’, before playing recent singles ‘Outrageous’ and ‘Tug of War’, Calva Louise were full of enthusiasm from the get go, thanking fans for their huge applause and response to each song.

Before slowing down the tempo and going into album track ‘No Hay’, singer Jess Allanic compared her South American routes to the temperature in the venue. “We’re going to get a little bit sweaty. I come from a country where it’s 30 degrees every day and it feels like that now”. The song, which is sung in Spanish, is an example of the bands diversity; not only in nationality, but in musical abilities and fresh ideas too.

The set continued with refreshing sounds and passionate stage presence right up to the end, with Jess and bassist Alizon acting out friendly rhinoceros style head butts and shoulder barges throughout. Stomping and jumping around, Calva Louise have real attitude, but complete it with modesty. All three members of the band were so genuinely happy to be there on the fourth date of the tour. This night was all about them, and boy do they deserve it.

After once again thanking fans for coming, thanking the supports for playing and stating that they will be back very soon, Calva Louise went into their final track ‘Getting Closer’. The early single saw fans jumping around even after the song had finished, with the band leaving the stage it wasn’t long before chants of “Calva Louise, hey” started.

The chants and applause were enough for the band to make a surprise return to the stage. “You sure you guys want another?” Proving this wasn’t planned, Jess admitted she had even turned the amp off, before saying “just one more song, we don’t have any other songs”. Although a lot of the crowd stood unfamiliar with the song, this was one of the best received tracks from the set. Members of support band Sugarstone were watching closely before starting off a mosh pit, some other familiar faces amongst the audience were both Strange Bones and The Blinders singers, it was humbling to see musicians supporting each other.

As the lights came on Calva Louise left the stage for the final time, although they came back out a couple of minutes later to manage their merch stand, proving once again they are a humble band willing to chat and interact with fans.

Words and photography by Abbie Jennings