Stepping into The Chelsea Inn, Easton on Friday night to set-up the PA with Carnival Punks was really the calm before the stop. This was our Kiss Me, Killer EP launch, our event. Would anyone turn up?
The early evening saw regulars quietly drinking their pints as we set up. Edging towards 8pm, the official start, only a relative handful of people had turned up looking for the gig. We gave folk-punk duo Amelia Scott and Violent bones, which features ex-members of Bristol’s Viva Zapata! ‘another 10 minutes’. Fortunately, in dribs and drabs punters started to arrive and our openers enjoyed a receptive crowd who enjoyed their set of political and melodic music with some great bass accompaniment from Bridget, a poet who recently interviewed Kiss Me, Killer on her new podcast.
By the time our special guest band, The Menstrual Cramps started to plug in their instruments the Chelsea Inn was packed to the rafters with music fans. The Menstrual Cramps are one of the real finds we’ve coming across since we’ve been a gigging outfit, and first played with them at a LayDIYFest fundraiser at Bristol’s Exchange, Old Market.
The Menstruals have gained an enthusiastic following across the nation with their storming blend of fun, fury’n’feminism packed full of great tunes and anthemic choruses. The Menstruals brought a lot of their youthful following to The Chelsea Inn and it was great to see a real cross section of people present. You just can’t help to chant along to their music. Holly KMK’s mum loved one song in particularly, Frack Off! – although she misheard it as ‘fuck off!.’
We played our first gig at The Chelsea back in February at a Carnival Punks show supporting Chernobyl Boogie. We weren’t too bad but that night, but tentative. There have been many shows since, which has tightened us up as a unit. At the first gig no one knew who we were, now people had turned out to see us so there was a feeling we couldn’t disappoint. I’ve seen some jam-packed, elbow-crowded gigs down The Chelsea and this one was up there with any of them. By the end the crowd was rocking at it was a sheer chaos as people danced.
Kiss Me, Killer played every song we’ve ever done, including our poppy first ever tune Narcissistic Tendencies and grrrrrl anthem, Radical Notions, which we’ve had to squeeze out of recent gigs due to time constraints. Nuns cover Do You Want Me on My Knees? went down like never before, with much of the crowd now alive to our traditional request to get ’em on their knees… and when that distorted riff kicks in it always goes bloody nuts.
Eponymous song Kiss Me, Killer really came across and garage punk stomper It’s Going Down?, with it’s psychobilly and spy-guitar touches, is becoming another true crowd pleaser. Holly took the opportunity to talk a little more about the lyrical content of the songs which touched on everything from protest politics, to mental health, to rights for sex workers.
There was, of course, an encore we played Och Aye! more furiously than ever before. I could barely see for the last few songs, my eyes full of salty sweat.
Cat Backlash from Bath DIY Punk Collective made the trip over to Bristol and loved what she experienced. She posted the best review on social media:
Just got back from Kiss Me, Killer’s EP launch party at The Chelsea Inn. :O :O :O :O one of the best gigs of my fucking life so far. I have never felt more accepted, included and inspired at a gig by both the bands and also the atmosphere of everyone there – the scene in Bristol is just so fucking spot on and where its at. I caught The Menstrual Cramps, who were rad. Then watched KMK just smash it. They’re getting such a big following now, and its because they’re progressive AF. A lot of this is down to the hard work and consistent resistance from Holly-Bobs Elizabeth – who blew my mind tonight with her vox. From organising, promoting and playing in KMK Holly ALWAYS promotes social issues like inclusiveness, gender equity at gigs and workers rights to name a few. This woman is literally changing shit and tonight I really have never felt more happy, emotional and proud
And here’s some footage…
During the set we took time to thank a couple of our biggest supports who have become auxiliary members over the months and helped us out again and again, presenting them with some goodies. Thank you again, Ina and Cheri.
The band flogged plenty of copies of the EP on limited edition numbered CD, as well as a fair few shirts and badges. Still a few gigs to go until the end of the year but we’re hoping to spend the bleak midwinter writing new songs, as we have millions of idea but haven’t had the time to realise them with all the gigs and preparing the EP.
The DIY punk scene in Bristol, and around the country, seems to be on a real upward trend just now with loads of people starting bands, doing art and zines, putting on gigs, helping each other out, spreading the word. At our launch Party there was a mix of punks and friends of all genders, ages, types all having a blast together. And that was the best thing about it. That and the smoke machine.
Thanks go to Carnival Punks for the great sound, The Chelsea Inn for hosting us, The Menstrual Cramps and All But Bones and everyone who came out.
And here are some images: KMK’s set by Cheri, others by David KMK.