Watching KID CANAVERAL, masters of the forgotten art of pop-song writing, you can’t help but feel it’s a matter of when, not if, they get the break that will turn them into a mainstream force for good.
Having this week signed to Fence Records in their native Fife, they have any number of tracks that could feasibly be this summer’s festival anthem – the wonderfully frantic Good Morning, or perhaps Couldn’t Dance given the way explodes into its chorus, or You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night and its juggernaut of synths, female vocal harmonies and guitar solo with wah-wah effect pedal (I think) no less.
Before all the exuberance, however, this SXSW-fundraising gig starts with the dreamy, reverb-rich Her Hair Hangs Down, which makes way for the retro indie-pop of Smash Hits, with singer David MacGregor apologising for “going a bit Beady Eye” in his pronunciation of “change”.
MacGregor is everything you’d want in a frontman – completely without ego, full of daft banter and possessing likability in spades. He’s also unintentionally comical – on several occasions he ruffles his bushy hair and leaves it looking like Cameron Diaz in There’s Something About Mary.
If I’m being picky, Cursing Your Apples and Left And Right, sung by guitarist Kate Lazda, are a bit rough around the edges, but the importance of Lazda to the overall sound can’t be stressed highly enough when you see her picking out every memorable guitar riff on And Another Thing!! and On Occasion as well as adding a Kenickie-esque string to Kid Canaveral’s bow with her lead vocals on Talk And Talk.
The undoubted highlight, though, was their terrific cover of King Creosote’s Missionary, in which they turn a folky lament into an emotive driving rock song. It really was something else.
Kid Canaveral – Stretching The Line