03 November 2017 (gig)
04 November 2017
It would be impossible not to mention the fact that Declan McKenna is just 18 years old, already releasing a debut album this year ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’, receiving support from the likes of Radio 1, NME and The Guardian. However Declan’s age isn’t something in the forefront of your mind when watching his live set up, it’s more when you reminisce that you fully understand just how unbelievable these youthful musicians are.
At most indie gigs in 2017 it’s rare not to hear the “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” chant in a packed room, but at London’s KOKO on November 3rd Declan McKenna’s name replaced Corbyn, filling the venue. The energy of the sold-out show steadily rose as support band Feet successfully built the hype by demanding mosh pits, jumping on and off of amps and making KOKO into a sauna of teenage fans. By the time Declan McKenna and his band stepped onto the stage, the energy was electric.
The youthful energy was evident throughout the show, with stage dives, pogoing around the stage and the whole band dancing together but the musical maturity also shone through. Drummer, Gabi King, held everything together, creating a wall of sharp, solid sound, whilst lead guitarist, Isabel Torres, held the stage with the stereotypical guitar moves yet still performing those indie riffs Declan is known for.
Of course Declan McKenna was the true star of the night, constantly flicking in and out of falsetto, swapping between acoustic and electric guitar and puppeteering the crowd in true rock ’n’ roll fashion. The 18 year old is the definition of an ideal frontman, demonstrating how you can have fun whilst still being taken seriously as a musician.
With an army of teens uniformed in dungarees, floral shirts and fish net tights hanging onto every lyric, Declan had the crowd at the palm of his hands from start to finish. McKenna has managed to engage teens on important issues such as race and LGBT issues on a platform that isn’t seen as lecturing but just common sense. If Declan McKenna can cause this reaction at just 18 years old, we’re all in for a treat.