Don’t Take ’em for Granted – Kyoto Drive – The Hob 3rd May
Birmingham-based band Kyoto Drive is a 4-piece pop punk/emo band consisting of Adam Binder, Mike Levell and Chris and Mark Piper. They played the Hobgoblin, Staines on Sunday night. The band played a selection of reasonably catchy songs to an audience already knocked out by The Sketch and The Sunshine Getaway. This is the curse of being the ‘headlining’ band on a Sunday evening in a provincial town. By the time you get to the stage i.e. around 10 pm, the crowd begins to thin out / come apart at the seams / fall over.
Fortunately, there was still a fair amount of buzz and fizz left in Hob and KD put on an energetic and exhilarating show to match the vibe.
The Kyoto Drive brand of semi-commercially viable melodic pop punk (think New Found Glory / Good Charlotte) has many pretenders to the throne, but none possess so strong and sure a hand as this band. They seem to be fully confident in their ability to perform above and beyond expectations. Sometimes the dynamic tension on stage sizzled and crackled like a police Taser aimed at an unfortunate protester.
The crisply starched vocals and the prominent guitar motifs, together with their distinctively harmonic style of vocals and a sense of grandeur in their ambitions, mean that Kyoto Drive put on a positively shameless performance. Their super-floppy hairstyles and larger-than-life egos meant that the audience could not keep their eyes off the wild antics.
Big and powerful Chris gave us huge proportions of snappy rolling thunder on percussion whilst Mike and Mark shared out the guitar duties with aplomb. Bass and vocals were handled with skill and dexterity by Adam. The whole junket was a huge bowl of excitement and sparkling sound.