@ Newcastle o2 Academy II, January 17 2010

There’s a popular myth (among us silly little boys) that girls can’t play guitars. Or hit drums.  This is partly down to the sugar-coated, bubble gum flavoured shite peddled by the likes of Girls Aloud and The Pussycat Dolls. And partly because ….well boys are just better than girls aren’t they?

Thankfully, however, some girls out there aren’t so happy about this and are keen to dispel such childish rumours by proving the exact opposite. Enter Kittie.

Taking to the stage they look as feisty and foxy as ever with die-hard sisters Morgan and Mercedes Lander sporting yet another pair of haircuts. But it’s clear to see that Kittie have grown up over their last few years together.

Bursting onto the metal scene while just in their teens, it would have always been easy to write them off as faddy, temporary replacements for the Spice Girls. Tonight however, despite the current line up only being in place for barely two years, they look every inch the veteran metal heads – albeit far better looking.

Shaking around the stage with a natural knack for riling up a sizable but not capacity crowd at the Academy, Morgan Lander has a voice as clear as water when she wants it to be. You almost forget she’s capable of those gravel-strewn screams that helped until What I Always Wanted gives you a sharp reminder.

Teamed with Tara McLeod’s tight blues-metal guitar lines and some ultra vicious drumming from her younger sister, Lander could teach most of today’s pretty-boy nu-metal bands a thing or two about how to command a stage without sounding forced or needing to employ any of the mandatory cheesy metal manoeuvres.

Boys, take note. Kittie make for great entertainment this evening by sounding raw, simple and ear splittingly loud. Isn’t that what Metal is all about anyway?

And, by the way, support It Dies Today are also what metal is all about. Urgent, confident and boasting a fine record in Lividity, these lads are also pretty adept musos. Boys, and girls, take note.

Mark Kelly