Kenickie: 100 Club, London
Friday 01 November 1996
"Most pop stars have to get second jobs," advises their lead singer and self-dubbed "northern slapper", 18-year-old Lauren La Laverne. "Carly Simon works in a chicken factory in Scunthorpe, you know. Tragic." This woman is part Debbie Harry, part Vic Reeves.
Kenickie have the kind of innate Rimmel glamour that made the nascent Manic Street Preachers so appealing and that the Spice Girls are now using to full effect. Even the delightful Spices, however, didn't have the chuzpah to christen themselves "Lauren La Laverne", "Marie Du Santiago" (lead guitar), "Emmy-Kate Montrose" (bass) and "Johnny X" (drums).
Kenickie are the first signing to Emidisc which is the brain child of the evil scientists behind Saint Etienne. This is Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs's second attempt at running a label (their first, "Ice Rink", gave the world Shampoo). But Kenickie are warmer and funkier than the perma- alienated Shampoo.
Kenickie's new single, "Millionaire Sweeper", borrows the drum intro to the Ronettes' "Be My Baby". They are more Motown than punk rock, which is a good development. In six months, the band have gone from being lo- fi to crisply produced and note-perfect (they are working with John Cornfield, the man behind Supergrass's hits). The only punky remnant is in the lyric "Now her kisses full at first / ache like blisters waiting to burst", but it's sung so sweetly that the Crystals could cover it.
Lauren pulls her karate top tight across her chest and reprimands the audience for "squinting" at her. From her teacherly / saucy stage presence, to their name (Kenickie is John Travolta's swaggering best mate in Grease), Kenickie are maybe the third band that I wish I was in: they have the stoopid groove of Luscious Jackson and the cool of Elastica. At a time when few bands look as if they're having a brilliant time on stage, Kenickie stand out a mile.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 2 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election