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Kingsley Chapman and The Murder at the Sebright Arms: Live Review

The premier purveyor of Northern Noir returns to London to showcase his epic new sound on Tuesday 24th November 2015.

Written by Richard Pearmain

Kingsley Chapman

Returning to the fray following the demise of Teesside favourites The Chapman Family, Kingsley Chapman has decided to take a subtly different musical approach. Whereas his previous band were an intense guitar driven experience, Chapman has now opted for a more, if not orchestral, then certainly expansive sound (his current seven piece band, The Murder, squeezing on to the bijou stage in Bethnal Green’s Sebright Arms was evidence of that).

It was a pretty busy crowd, and the London Superfans, who I’m pretty sure I’ve seen at every Chapman Family gig I’ve been to, were once again in attendance (it turns out that a friend of mine knows one of them – small world, eh?). As the band took to the stage, Chapman sardonically announced “it’s great to be back in your lovely city”, before launching into opening song Olympians.

The sound may have a grander feel, incorporating piano, strings and trumpet, but lyrically Chapman hasn’t strayed too far from the subject matter of his Chapman Family days – a mix of heartfelt emotion coupled with righteous anger at the state of the nation. Guillotine had Morrissey-esque touches, followed by the sweeping Lovers. Begrudgingly getting into the festive spirit, Chapman also introduced their “Christmas song” – however, As The Stars Fall Down isn’t likely to get your dad jigging around the tree.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though, as Chapman joked that the set was a bit heavy on the ballads. I also noticed a fair bit of wine being consumed by various members of the band – clearly Kingsley Chapman and The Murder have a more refined palate than the average rock and roll band.

Chapman’s guitar amp gave up the ghost before the final song, which required, as he called it “plan B” which he also warned “might sound a bit strange” – a now piano led but none the less fierce Kill That Man, which ended up with The Murder’s percussionist not only sending his own kit flying, but the drummer’s as well.

With the Lovers single having had a fair bit of rotation of BBC6 and XFM this year, and recent reviews starting to make waves, perhaps 2016 will see the success that for Kingsley Chapman has been long overdue.


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