The Kills – 10 Year Anniversary.

14 02 2012

“Lost a lot of blood. Lost a lot of cool, cool, cool.”

Ten years ago today, Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince aka The Kills played their first gig together. On the tenth anniversary of my favourite band- I’d like to attempt to put into words just why I love them and what they mean to me. Over the past few days I have read peoples stories about the anniversary gig in New York on Saturday. I managed to watch it online (no, I didn’t stay up until 4am to watch it because of the shitty time difference. I’m too old for staying up ast 11pm it seems!) Even though I wasn’t there, I could feel the love in the room. You could see just how much Alison and Jamie love what they do. More importantly, you can see just how inspiring and loving their friendship is.

Like most who adore The Kills, it goes beyond adoring the music that they make. It is an admiration of two people having a vision, and going with it- not giving a fuck about anything but the art. Staying true to their hearts and not ever compromising their art in the process. Over the past 10 years of being a fan, this is just a hint of what they have taught me. The Kills haven’t just opened my eyes and mind to a different world, they, in some respects have made me who I am. Now, for most- who I am isn’t exactly good. But for me, I’m bloody well proud. Their music has been the one  of very few that I turn to when I’m feeling low, and has also been there when I feel insanely happy. It’s everything to me. Do or die.

I want to talk about their bond before I really get into the music because I feel this may take up a lot of space. When I first heard The Kills..shit I can’t remember but I know it was Fried My Little Brains. I probably saw the video whilst flicking through the music channels aged 15/16. That age where everything sticks and the smallest thing can change you in a way you never thought something could. This noise that was coming through just blew me away. How could two people make such a noise? I wanted to know everything about their music, what influenced them, their music background- I wanted to know it all. So, I read up about them. Read as many interviews as I could find. I remember staying up late and hearing them on a John Peel session. I think that really nailed my dedication to them. From then on, I knew I had found the band to be my guide. They would be the ones to make me feel less cack about growing up and becoming a person I was probably scared to be. I’ve always been a bit socially uncomfortable, but a band like The Kills broke that down. Their bond is the most inspiring friendship I’ve ever EVER seen. Alison pretty much gave up her life in America to move to London to make music with Jamie. Listening to him play the guitar, like a loveable stalker then turning into being one of the most influential and honest bands around. Things take time, they say- and in those 10 years everything they have done has been so open and passionate.

The way Alison stalks the stage with her hungry eyes, caressing the mic in her hands singing the words that make you think “FUCK YES. THIS IS THE REAL THING RIGHT HERE.” You sing along with everything you have. Jamie stands beside her using his guitar as a weapon. Holding it, aiming his guitar at Alison and the crowd like a gun. Every note he churns out is a bullet to the soul. It wakes you up. It shakes you. His violent gestures merge so heavenly with Alison’s sweet, delicate voice. The way he mouths the notes he his making from the guitar like a man possessed. Alison looks at the crowd and moves like a woman possessed. They both are; by the music. And you, the audience are also taken over. Everything takes you over. You take in every single movement by Alison and Jamie. You are in awe of their chemistry. Some like to say it is sexual chemistry. Personally? You can honestly see how they are like brother and sister. It probably goes deeper than that. They are each others life. You can see how much they love what they are doing, and how happy they are sharing the moment with each other- and the crowd. It’s them against the rest of the world. That’s how it should feel when you meet your best friend, your soulmate. With them, you can do anything. Without them, they are still around somehow to make you feel like you can do it. It’s the most innocent and beautiful thing one can ever feel. It is unconditional and forever accepting.

Now, the music. Where on Earth do I begin with this? From recording on an 8-track in a soundproof cupboard to touring the world with their incredibly distinctive sound- The Kills are EASILY not only the best band around, but the best duo around. Two people can make a Hell of a lot of noise kids, don’t ever think they can’t because they really fucking can. Over the past ten years they have given us brutal riot infused songs such as Cat Claw to haunting heartbreaking songs like The Last Goodbye. Every record of theirs has played such a great role in my life. To someone who doesn’t love music, everything I have written here, and ever write will just seem like utter nonsense. Maybe that’s the case. You know, if I was going to be professional about this- I’d ignore the fact that I am a fan and write from a critic standpoint. I just cannot do that. What I learnt from The Kills is one thing in particular- always do it from the heart and with all you have. That’s how I write, and how I live. If it doesn’t feel right in my heart, I’m not playing any part in it. This is why I will NEVER write on here about something I hate and rip it apart. The world has far too many negative vibes; I don’t want to add to it. I want to write about things that I am passionate about, in the hopes someone reads it and thinks..”I feel the same.” And they don’t feel so alone with being passionate about a band, or even a song.

I will ALWAYS say that Keep On Your Mean Side is my favourite record by The Kills. However, when Blood Pressures came out last year I was in a wonderfully low place. Certain things happened that I had no power over. I couldn’t do a thing (my job at the time ended, my mum was diagnosed with cancer and a bunch of other shit.) To say I wanted to throw in the towel was a fucking understatement. I heard Blood Pressures and every ounce of passion and love in me just came back. It’s like it filled me up with fight and hope again. DNA and Pots And Pans are two songs that just made me think “Fuck..I gotta do something.” The Last Goodbye broke my heart, and I stand by “How can I rely on my heart if I break it, with my own two hands.” As being my favourite line of 2011, and the lyric that saved my soul. The vulnerability in that song made everything easier. To know someone could sum up how lost I felt, knowing it was someone I look up to- it made it mean more than the World to me. It became my world.

I still play No Wow, Keep On Your Mean Side and Midnight Boom every day. Not a day goes by when I don’t listen to The Kills. Over the past ten years, they have been more than just a band. If you regard The Kills as “just a band” you’re no fan. They are more than two people making the best music around. They are two people who give music obsessives like me something to cling onto and hold so deep within their heart. Their music will never stop being like the blood in my veins. I do not care if any of what I have written makes me sound mental. I know that at least one person in the world who may read this will connect, because fans of The Kills are the most passionate and sincere people you will ever meet and know. We are a dedicated bunch.

This has been my tribute to the two most perfect human beings I will probably never meet. If by some stroke of luck they see this- I just want to say Thank You. Thank you for giving this hopeless kid a fuck load of hope and passion ten years ago, and with every listen- I gain more hope and passion. Thank you for making music that allows one to feel so much, and that feeling mean isn’t always a bad thing. Thank you for having a bond that makes me, as a fan, want to find my own. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. Thank you for teaching me to stay true to myself even though at times it can be hard. Thank you for that gig in November 2008 in Stoke at The Sugarmill. You left me speechless and inspired.

Alison, Jamie- thank you for the past ten years. Here’s to many many more. Much love, Olivia xx


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3 responses

15 02 2012
thepathweshare

i have so much love for the kills. easily a favourite band of mine, and i have the biggest girl crush on alison. they are so incredible, i would adore to meet them or at least see them live. loved this!

27 04 2012
GuitarGuy

Hey, can’t said more that you have said, they are just my the best for me 🙂
Cheers!

27 04 2012
Olivia

No problem, and thank you! They’re just the greatest x

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