@ Newcastle University, May 2 2010

Welsh quintet Kids In Glass Houses returned to Newcastle University to showcase their new album Dirt. And it’s clearly a record they love.

Throughout the night the band insisted on playing songs off the new album rather than a range from their back catalogue – even though, at first, it seemed as though only a handful of people had even listened to the new songs.  

Truth be told it took a good 15 minutes before the guys managed to get the crowd warmed up.

And it was surprising to see that among the fans it was mainly young male teenagers who climbed up on their friends’ shoulders during the slow songs when you would have expected pre-teen girls to show their appreciation. It’s a fact that Kids In Glass Houses boast a wider fan base than so many of their pop rock peers.

Although they favoured the new album, the band did work into their set list hits off Smart Casual such as Saturday and Give Me What I Want which prompted frenzied crowd interaction.

And out of the entire night Fisticuffs was probably the song with most energy as front man Aled Phillips tried, without success, to get fans to make a circle pit and run at each other. At least it was nice to see some energy from him.

On the whole KIGH played a flawless set but Phillips was a bit of a let down, seemingly unable to finish singing an entire line alone and out of breath within the opening songs to the set.

The two guitarists, Joel Fisher and Iain Mahanty, and drummer Philip Jenkins, however, delivered a performance without fault and kept the momentum up throughout. Phillips simply seemed too interested in fulfilling the criteria for the generic frontman, never happier than when posing for photos along with bassist Andrew Shay.

Chiara Giordano