Live Review: Kira Mac – Wolverhampton

Live Review: Kira Mac - Wolverhampton

Live Review: Kira Mac - KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
4th May 2024
Support: Jayler
Words & Photos: Scott Clarke

The sun was shining, the temperatures were scorching (well, maybe not but it is in comparison to the dull dreary beginning of spring we’ve endured thus far) and the queues formed quickly and en masse for tonights entertainment.

It was rather surprising that I struggled for parking tonight but the line that ran around the building gave evidence as to why, on the bill at KK’s Steel Mill were Planet Rock regulars Kira Mac, frequenting the touring scene in recent years, amassing fans up and down the country with their ever evolving styles, tonight here to play the best venue in the midlands.

First up were young rockers Jayler. I’m going to put aside my usual review format and just say right from the beginning these guys were brilliant!...Go right now and listen to them and then come back and carry on reading…

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Go on, I’ll wait…

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Are you back? Right, let’s continue.

Photo Credit: Scott Clarke Photography

Clearly 70’s inspired from arguably an era that could be considered the heyday of most rock and metal influences out there even to this day, these 4 lads embodied everything that made that generation so iconic, remembered and influential and to say they’ve only been around as a group for a few years, it’s a very exciting prospect to see what they have to offer as their catalogue of material on display in this short 30 minute set was superb.

With tracks featuring Acid Rain, No Woman, Down Below, When You Go, The Getaway, Love Maker and culminating in The Rinsk, the band went down a storm, some bands have that special “it factor” for lack of a better term and these 4 young men certainly have that. From the look, the stage presence, the energy, the great songs, the fan interaction and humble attitudes they have solid foundations and I really hope they go far as they deserve to gain the recognition.

Photo Credit: Scott Clarke Photography

Hardly anyone nipped out for a pint or a smoke during the set, the venue was relatively full from front to back, strange for a support in the first place, but all eyes were firmly fixed on the stage.

Bounding around the stage with the energy of the Duracell bunny on several cans of Red Bull, they were very reminiscent of early Robert Plant and had more than a little of Glenn Hughes swagger about them, whether this was natural, intentional or otherwise it fit in with the aesthetic of the band so well. Fun loving and entertaining, this was music and a performance as it should be. So solid from start to finish, both technically and in their performance on stage, their enthusiasm never wavered, in fact the 30 minute set was not enough, it went far too quickly and upon announcement of the last song, there was a distinct groan of disappointment across the entirety of the venue who wanted more. It’s testament to their abilities and their appeal that the crowd reaction was so strong and I think they would be able to pull off their own headline sets quite easily and favourably.

Photo Credit: Scott Clarke Photography

After a fairly short change around it was time for the headline for tonight, Kira Mac, a modern band in that they don’t pigeon hole themselves and have many influences and stylistic interpretations that are evident in their set list. Its a versatile performance encompassing many skills.

As the lights dimmed, the always welcome sounds of Tenacious D piped through the room, partially drowned out by the sound of the crowd singing along in full voice to Tribute. An ironic intro in parts as the show would go on to include a few covers thrown into the mix, but more on that later. As for the band, as they emerge from the darkness into the full stage lights of KK’s, we are greeted by Joe Worrall, guitarist and founding member of the band, Loz Riley pounds the drums in the back alongside Vernon on the bass, both of which are recently additions to the Kira Mac family, finally Rhiannon joins her band mates as they launch directly into the opening tracks of the night, Save Your Whiskey, Dead Man Walking and Chaos is Calling.

Photo Credit: Scott Clarke Photography

Despite initial technical sound issues that saw Rhiannon having to switch out mics, it didn’t put off or affect the group in any way shape or form, remaining professional and unflustered, they just carried on without missing a step.

Energetic and dynamic, commanding the stage, making full use of the space afforded to them, the band put on a showcase of radio anthems that continue with newer material such as Play the Game and No Way Out.

A complete change of pace comes next as Rhiannon explains during lockdown there were songs that she wrote that didn’t really fit on a Kira Mac album, yet what followed was a mini set to itself as, acoustic guitar in hand, we got to hear an acoustic rendition of several tracks that not only broke up the set but also showed the versatility of her vocal talents.

Photo Credit: Scott Clarke Photography

Turning things back up a notch the band bring in a cover of Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know before moving on with Hit Me Again, Hellfire & Holy Water and Never Going To Stay. Rounding out the set with 2 new tracks, Farewell and Climbing, both of which are again another change of pace leaning into much heavier influences which the really do suit the band and are encouraging signs for the new record. Downfall and One Way Ticket serve as inevitable encores that round out a fantastic performance from a talented bunch of musicians.

They have a variety of stylistic influences and it makes the band more appealing and cover a broader range of fans as there’s basically something for everyone. I enjoyed the breakup of the acoustic numbers, the range and change between blues, southern rock and the newer, heavier stuff, sometimes if it’s all the same style of music being played you can go a bit numb to song after song, that’s where the art of structuring and organising a set list comes in, but Kira Mac is helped by their versatile catalogue as they have a very strong ability to change and delve into different styles or types seemingly effortlessly while giving a great performance and sounding amazing.

Photo Credit: Scott Clarke Photography

Blues rock riffs and with a voice that could easily bridge across genres, be it rock, blues, country, southern rock, Rhiannon blends all of them together in melodic, soulful lyrics. Her voice is easy on the ear yet contains effortless emotion and power that comes across so gracefully at times then really hits you when the rhythm and backing instrumentals kick into catchy hooks and foot tapping beats.

They were all very energetic on stage and with the reduction in band members, it was quite a big stage to fill yet they did so with great effect, there were no static displays (except the drum kit) and it all benefitted the experience, drawing the energy from the crowd and using it up on stage to give a fantastic performance.

Photo Credit: Scott Clarke Photography

The main take away from the show is the, no inhibitions, fun loving, good time having nature of the band. They were there to have a good time and to make sure we had a good time too. From Rhiannon’s interactions with the crowd and her subsequent appearance at the merch desk later to meet the fans, it’s clear she is not only very humble but her words on stage about being a part of a larger family ring true and it is reciprocated by the fans who turned up in their droves for tonight and made the effort to remain after the show, the queue to meet the band at the merch desk was quite substantial and shows the affection goes both ways.

It's clear to see the popularity, it’s marketable, solid, catchy an all round great sound that is going to appeal to a broad range of people no matter your tastes. Musically the band are tight, well rounded and broad in their abilities, they have a style and they pull it off perfectly, leading the group Rhiannon’s vocals are sublime and her range put on full display. The band also know how to put on a show visually, appealing to the fan base, interacting with the crowd, feeding off the energy and giving more back, they’ve come a long way in a short time and are evidently a safe bet when it comes to guaranteeing a great night out, and as it was Star Wars day, the force was strong with this one.

Photo Credit: Scott Clarke Photography

Photo credits: Scott Clarke Photography

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