Monday, November 16, 2009


Monday, September 17, 2007 

KC are on a mission. A mission to singlehandedly bring some soul to traditional rock venues. Doing the hard yards and using Aretha Franklin's classic 'Live at the Fillmore West' as a blueprint, this hip-hop/soul 8-piece are kicking up dust and bringing the beats to the peeps on the streets via their regional and urban Street Corner Soul tour over the coming months. Recent recipients of an Urban Music Award for Best RnB Band, drummer Bart Denaro, speaking from a Maccas car-park outside of Newcastle on his way to Coffs Harbour for another show, has few illusions about their rising profile. "It was pretty surprising. All the way our manager was trying not to get our hopes up; "you're not going to win, don't worry," that kind of thing, but it was really great because we played at last years awards where we didn't get nominated for anything, and this year we came back with two nominations and won best group. We don't really consider ourselves to be an RnB act, we're more a soul band, but it was an award for urban music which is hip-hop, soul and RnB. It's a good bit of kudos and I don't know how much industry sway they have, but it's great for the circle that we run in - the urban scene, we kind of see ourselves more as crossing that boundary between urban and popular music."

The mixing of soul music authenticity and rock dynamics is setting Kid Confucius up for a sweltering summer of tours, festivals and a new single Last Straw that is sure to keep their profile skyward. Having sold out two nights at Sydney's legendary Annandale the previous week, Denaro says he is a little apprehensive when looking at the upcoming tour "It is really exciting, but daunting as well; the structure of the tour being all weekends means we have to drive back to Sydney Sunday night or Monday morning for work, but the gigs are easily enough to keep us going. With every tour our profile is better and we get more people to the shows. There is enough happening to keep things exciting and fresh."

Those not paying attention to the urban scene may be thinking they've sprung from nowhere, but Denaro sets the record straight. "I don't see it as being a quick rise, we've been toiling for about 6 years. For the first album we got a little bit of play for the first couple of singles, and from Stripes we put out Moment which got a bit more and we got JJJ backing for this tour, so from our end it's been happening steadily and slowly which is how we like it. I don't think the fact that we play something different has helped us at all, the one song that we were able to really break into a larger audience with and which JJJ latched onto is Moment which is by far our most rock-oriented song. The good this about that is it is somewhat the direction we're moving in anyway, the stuff we're listening to now is more like Kings Of Leon, but we'll never lose the soul influence because that's the umbrella that covers everything we do."

Soul, as evidenced by The Commitments, is the great equaliser, the genre no one can deny regardless of what you listen to. Most of what we listen to has some base in it, especially if we want to dance. This is something Kid Confucius have - via Aretha Live At Fillmore West - taken to heart, and are now taking to the towns and cities of Eastern Australia, as Denaro says:
"Hip-hop has become very mainstream and it's pretty much just sampled soul music - that's where it comes from, and if we're part of something that reconnects people with the roots of that but then brings something different, we'll be very happy." And so, it seems, are they.

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