Live Review
KINDNESS, LIVE AT XOYO, LONDON
Kindness
XOYO
Old Street, London
21/04/12

The Second Coming of Kindness really is the first. In 2009, comfortably lo-fi and with one limited seven-inch to his name, Adam Bainbridge hardly registered outside of a small buzz bubble. His handful of shows back then, he admits, were a bit of mess, and his recorded demos towed a similar, homemade line. In 2012, things couldn’t be more different; proudly hi-fi, slick and accomplished on his debut album, ‘World, You Need a Change of Mind’. It’s a progression that’s even more incredible in the club. Playing his future ’80s funk hits to a predictably sold out room, the 6ft 5” Bainbridge snakes about the stage like a French exchange student that will forever be cooler than you or I, doing a Jarvis Cocker stint, if Cocker thought sex was sexy, rather than mucky. His band – which comes with two female backing singers – are possibly even better.

‘Gee Up’ segues into Womack & Womack’s ‘Teardrops’, and then into ‘Sweet Love’ by Anita Baker, Bainbridge plays hide and seek with the spot line through ‘Bombastic’, and the bass keeps slapping on like it’s 1985 in a New York disco. In the age of the amateur, it’s a show – part cabaret, part erotic, but consistently, unquestionably professional, while remaining just loose enough to not be stuck up or contrived. Even if you hate Prince, Grace Jones, and that whole ’80s club sound, you’ll love a Kindness party.

By Stuart Stubbs

Originally published in issue 37 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. April 2012

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