Live: DECLAN MCKENNA // KOKO, London
Taking on a sold out KOKO, Declan McKenna proves once and for all why he’s the voice of his generation.
Entering the British indie scene like a whirlwind, Declan McKenna has captured the core of adolescence through his politically charged tunes. Having established an eminent fan base, his beacon gig at KOKO is the ultimate manifestation of the success McKenna has achieved through 2017.
Entering the stage, McKenna dives straight into his breakthrough single, The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home. Immediately backed by the choir of fans it’s clearer than ever how much of an impact McKenna has. The hit single’s stoic magic is multiplied by the sheer crowd response, blowing the gangly hooks into anthem-like proportions.
Though the set is heavily dominated by debut, What Do You Think About The Car?, older tracks, such as Basic get their time in the limelight. The low-fi song gives an interesting insight into McKenna’s sonics.
Frolicking around stage with a ballsy confidence, McKenna has come far from the awkward teen we knew him as just a year ago. The character development is staggering, and so is his live performance. Having built up experience, McKenna has finally reached the point giving his tunes the stamina they deserve.
Humongous’ brewing melancholy strikes hard. The swaying guitar and McKenna’s vocal effort parallels beautifully evoking a tangible sense of fragility and solitude to fill the festive venue. Escalating into a swirling crescendo of staccato synth and glittering drum-rolls, the song flourishes, blooming beyond its proportions as McKenna and his band mates put all effort into every single chord.
Descending from the mounting universe of Humongous, Isombard’s political spike has us safely grounded again. The tingling beat initially comes of as a tad blasé, and yet the dual nature of the song cuts through with a sharp intelligence. The frantic beat is definitely one for the dancing legends.
The sparkly slacker pop of Why Do You Feel So Down intertwines a lingering sadness with caricature pop hooks.
Brazil has its round of glory before McKenna rounds of the extravaganza with album closer, Listen To Your Friends. The confetti storms, crowd surfs and crazy adoring fans aside, Declan McKenna and his band finally flourish to their full live potential and it’s marvellous to see. What Do You Think About The Car? is being outshined live for the first time.
Photos: Aurora Henni Krogh