Thursday, February 23, 2023

Kid Blu Takes to Stage the Brand-New EP: Mourning & Melancholia

Taking place in Manchester’s iconic music venue, The Deaf Institute a full room of well-dressed individuals stand in anticipation as they await Kyd Blu to take to the stage and perform in celebration of the release of the new EP ‘Mourning & Melancholia (Vol. 1),’ which was released the previous day.

The alter-ego of Sam Capper, Kyd Blu is a multi-instrumentalist with a unique style and branding. Showing an array of influences from soul, RnB, and hip hop, he is not restricted to one specific genre and conveys this through soundscapes, emotive lyricism, and elements of hi-fi.  

A grime track filled the room as echoes of chatter merged into one. After two very distinct supporters Kingxton and Hazy. One fuelled by grime, hip hop and mixed in his Netherlands and Ghanaian roots Kingxton captivated the crowd. His performance was short and sweet, the hype created was extraordinary. Whereas Hazy was a blend of pop and indie, low-fi yet passionate.  It was beguiled but it was this mix of genres that kept the crowd intrigued.

There was a sudden drop of silence, the room went black and a build-up of synths, strings, and eerie-like sound effects. The odd cheer as fans look around the room. Where is he? Where is Kyd Blu? Red lighting filled the stage, and a speech began to blare out of the speakers, soft and elegantly spoken, think Helen Mirren telling a bed-time story. Talking about love and loss, fitting for the themes of the EP.

This is all happening whilst an ensemble makes their way onto the stage, consisting of a drummer, guitarist, bassist and two back-up singers. At this point the crowd is engaged but still where is Kyd Blu? There is a pause and drumbeats boom. Kid Blu finally makes his entrance. A casual and humbled walk across the stage, taking to the mic, giving the audience a nod and a smile, “Alright”.

The set-up of the stage is endearing. His ensemble was in a line nearer to the back of the stage as Kyd Blu stood to the side. Though he was the focal point, he didn’t block anyone and felt as though everyone was visible during this performance.

Starting the show with ‘Addiction,’ the latest anthem from ‘Mourning and Melancholia.’ Kyd Blu’s performance was from the heart, emotional and captivating. Perfectly painting the picture of toxic love, through funky basslines, roaring drums and a genre that was hard to fathom. What was so impressive about this track’s performance was the perfect harmonies between Kyd Blu and his back-up singers. Perfectly blending, it felt effortless and was a treat to witness live.

‘Heavy Heart’ felt like a love letter to someone. The performance was delicate yet groovy. Emotional yet funky. Kyd Blu shows his talent through his keyboard-playing skills and it was this funk and level of confidence that had the audience dancing and singing along.

‘Evergreen’ was dedicated to his girlfriend, who stood proudly on the balcony overlooking the stage. Described as a late Valentine’s Day present, Kyd Blu sang from the heart, and it was clear there was sentimental meaning within this song. Though the room was full, it felt as though no one else was there, the connection between the two was strong. This was a simplistic performance yet the most impactful, it felt romantic.

Kyd Blu had a way of talking to the crowd. Though humble, the room’s focus was on him. Speaking to the audience he seemed grateful to those who bought tickets to the show, having an active conversation with them.

Telling us the meaning of the next track ‘Just Wondering (Interlude)’ he recalls that this song is about a girl he is no longer with. Ominous, repetitive keys and the back-up vocals acting as an echo. The rhythm of the track felt like a ticking clock, with distortion and a slight lag fading into mush. Really conveys a confused thought process during a difficult period. The room made no sound during this song, captivated and in awe.

‘DAMN Girl’ was a high point of the overall gig, joined on stage by Kingxton to perform the collaborative, yet-to-be released single. An emotive track, a love song no doubt but an added dose of hip-hop kept and high energy kept everyone guessing.  

Unfortunately, the performance had to be cut short, and a few tracks that were on the set list had to be cut. Making a quick decision as to which track they were to perform, Kyd Blu announced the title of the next track, ‘Is It True’ to which one member of the audience shouted with glee “That’s my favourite Sam!”

Though not the original song to end on, Kyd Blu and his entourage did not hold back. The performance was a mixture of instrumentals and strong lyricism. The band really went for it, effortlessly playing, it felt chaotic in the best way and immersive and the passion of everyone on stage had the audience enthralled. Though bittersweet at the early finish, there was no doubt that this was an incredible way to wrap up the show.

Kyd Blu balances a concoction of genre; music styles and conveys the highs and lows that went into the creation of the EP ‘Mourning & Melancholia (Vol. 1).’  Though the performance was cut short, his ability to engage an audience through what he was able to showcase was nothing short of impressive and it a definite recommendation to see live.


Ana Joy King


Image: Kyd Blue Live By Ana Joy King

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