Having been in hibernation for just over a year the talented Watford born Kyla La Grange is back with brand new single Cut Your Teeth and the tricky sophomore album also Cut Your Teeth which is due to hit shelves in May. At the end of 2013 the lovely Miss La Grange announced that she was to perform at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen which marked her return to the capital. Also Kyla played at Southampton’s The Joiners two days prior. When the tickets went on sale my friend very kindly purchased two tickets as I had no means to get to the internet when tickets went on sale at 9am (when you are a fan of someone specific you always have it in the back of your mind it will sell out). Actually this was to be my friends first time witnessing Kyla perform in the flesh.
The set that Kyla La Grange played was a mixture of material from the upcoming LP Cut Your Teeth and some tunes were from the incredible debut Ashes. Unlike last time at Hoxton there was no forest. Instead the stage design consisted of masks, flowers, flamingos and even a mobile with plastic dolls hanging from it. It was around 9.30pm when the rainbow haired La Grange took to the stage. What opened things up was a new track which was given away for free straight away if you pre ordered from iTunes. The song in question was Fly and this had been well crafted with stunning verses and an entrancing chorus. This was delivered flawlessly and what I especially adored was the fact that the lyrics made you picture the story behind it. I reckon that one amazing and emotional video can be made for this. Straight after it was onto the first new cut from the sophomore album. Get It was a light number and sounded rather synthy. This was a lot different compared to any thing from the debut record. I found this to work wonders and it seemed like Kyla was enjoying herself when singing this lovely tune. Once over it was then immediately onto I Don’t Hate You. I would say that out of the new numbers this was my favourite. I Don’t Hate You was extremely infectious/ upbeat and this had been brilliantly written. “So what do you do when you are alone and no one’s there to see you stray, And who do you tell where you buried the bones where no one’s going to make you pay”.
“Hi everybody” Kyla said before getting stuck into a double dose of tunes from Ashes. First up it was To Be Torn. This was a beautiful haunting ballad which showcased La Grange’s impressive vocal range. This song gave me goosebumps. Her high pitched vocals sounded as she was channelling Kate Bush. Actually I found To Be Torn to be rather mellow. I could pick up on an Irish feel when La Grange started to sing Lambs. The lyrics were rather luscious and extremely sweet. “Thank you so much for coming to see us” Kyla mentioned to the audience before revealing that she was scared because this was the bands 2nd gig. It was then into something brand new and this being Maia. Now this was a game changer as it was unlike anything I had heard from La Grange before. Maia was pacey, sleek and the synths completely captivated me. This intrigued me greatly because this was more Pop than anything else Kyla has done in the past. It actually worked wonders and I look forward to when the new album is finally released to the public. Straight after it was then onto The Knife and I could pick up on a calypso feel. This started off at a steady pace then the drums kicked in to give this song that added something. The Knife was one outstanding number with lyrics that were delivered very smoothly. Also I must say La Grange’s vocal range was simply out of this world. Not pausing for a break it was then onto Woke Up Dead. Now this was a heavy tune which was delivered to perfection. Oldie I Could Be was played at a steady pace and was also upbeat. Whilst Been Better had fantastic lyrics and a chorus which oozed bundles of energy. There was a folk vibe and it literally blew me away. Been Better captivated me from beginning to end. Kyla’s vocal range was at the forefront for I’ll Call You. This literally put me in a trance and sent shivers up my spine. “So we just have 2 more songs” Kyla mentioned resulting in plenty of groans. It was then onto the first single to be lifted from the new album and this being Cut Your Teeth. The actual video to this may be creepy but hearing this live was quite something. Cut Your Teeth is a right corker and it a grower as it is a drastic change of direction which pays off. I was left captivated during this performance and it had been superbly written. Cut Your Teeth showed shades of Pop and with the other new songs which had been showcased it looked like La Grange has changed her direction. “This has been really really nice. I was shit scared. So this is great” Kyla told the audience before ending with her favourite track from the new album and this being Cannibals. Now I rather liked this, La Grange was on the guitar and the vocals were slightly haunting.
Once over the band left the stage only for Kyla to return moments later for what would be the encore. “I’m going to play a very very old song. The oldest song I still play that I wrote when I was 19” La Grange said before urging people to sing along if they knew he words. This being Vampire Smile and what made this extra special was the fact it was fully acoustic. Whilst it is an energetic song just hearing it fully acoustic made it rather gentle and hypnotic. Lyrically this was a dark song when you carefully listen to it “But I’m A Vampire Smile You’ll Meet A Sticky End, And Here I’m Trying Not To Bite Your Neck, But It’s Beautiful And I’m Going To Get, So Drunk On You And Kill Your Friends”.
I Don’t Hate You
To Be Torn
Woke Up Dead
I Could Be
I’ll Call For You
Cut Your Teeth
OVERALL: As per usual Kyla La Grange was amazing. This epic show marked her return to the London scene. Whilst La Grange mentioned how she was scared prior to the show she completely pulled it off. The new songs were sensational and it makes me anticipate the release of Cut Your Teeth in May. The new songs show a different side to Kyla and they are more Pop than Folk. Yes I adored Ashes which featured songs such as Heavy Stone, Vampire Smile, Courage etc but these new tunes are utterly addictive. They are all crackers and from what was showcased my favourites have to be I Don’t Hate You, Fly and Maia. Judging by these newies the sophomore LP will be a right corker.
I also liked the fact that La Grange mixed in some of the older material and it was a pleasure to hear the likes of Been Better and To Be Torn live again. Also it was nice that Kyla performed an unplanned encore of Vampire Smile. This by far is my favourite song of hers and just witnessing it acoustic was something special (It reminds me of when she played it unplugged back at Rough Trade East).
All in all changing directions can be a tad risky but Kyla La Grange has pulled it off and I look forward to the day I have Cut Your Teeth in my hands.