When you arrive at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire two hours before the doors are due to open and the queues are already snaking around both sides of the building, with security guards looking a little bit daunted by all the girls in cowboy boots and the buzz of electricity in the air is palpabl that you are in for a good night. Whilst chatting to everyone it was mixed emotions as to who they were most excited for as having Drake White on the undercard was a huge gamble, especially as he had his own sell out show the following night at the Borderline. Suddenly cameras were out and there’s screaming and Kip is amongst the crowd, yes he is with his people, causing even more hysteria, this was going to be one wild night. Finally the doors opened and wow I’ve never seen so many people inside this venue, someone said so me it harked back to the One Direction days!
I was able to get a position on level one and watch both the audience’s reactions and the acts with intent. Having seen Jillian the night before it was lovely to see her again albeit probably slightly intimidating with this throng of people desperate for Kip and Drake but they were fairly respectful during her set, background noise was manageable and they appreciated her polished performance. The welcomed addition of her Nashville band, which we hadn’t met at the Borderline really helped fill the auditorium with her beautiful sound. Well done Jillian on a job well done and a spot secured at C2C 2018.
After a quick stage changeover and a crowd that was now crammed in so tight on the ground floor they looked like sardines in a tin, the lights went down and the music built up. Screams resonated round the building and suddenly once the band had arrived, out he came with trade mark hat and fox tail hanging off his belt, looking Uber cool. He could have sung nursery rhymes and we would have been happy but with a short six song set list, he had the whole audience in the palm of his hand. We sang, we danced, cheered and we loved him, he blew the roof off the Empire and I wasn’t sure how could Kip follow this?
Living The Dream
Little Help From My Friends
With that he was gone but for all those lucky enough to be going to the Borderline, wow I think the roof is coming off! He is on fire, in my opinion better than at the C2C after party and he was amazing then, so if you are there tonight see you there, get your dancing shoes on!
A moment to catch our breath and discuss what had happened, wow what had just happened? Then it was headliner time, the lights dimmed, the screams built, the backing music got louder as it does at Kip gigs and then there he was in all his Man in Black glory. The ultimate bad boy image, cut off sleeves, backwards baseball cap and work boots with red solo cup in hand. He started with his anthem “Wild Ones” and it just showed that he had an audience that were going to sing back every word, word for word. He was loving this! We had songs from all three albums, nearly all our favourites, my personals being Beer Money, Up All Night and I’m To Blame but a special mention has to go to Guitar Man from the new Slowheart CD which he started playing last year, he always tells this tale of an ex-girlfriend during the song and this resonates with the audience when he comes to the final verse, so when you listen to the CD at home now, you will always think of that stupid ex and her Mom. One final mention must be of the amazing cover of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” he bought Drake back onto the stage and then stripped the band back so they were just standing one by one round a microphone, incredible, goosebumps stuff for me. The playing time was nearly two hours and it was electrifying, probably one of the best gigs he has ever done in my opinion, I’ve been to about six both in the UK and USA and he bought his A game. So thank you Kip for just doing what you do! I’m off to lay in a dark room for a few hours