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Partygate. The cost of living. Super soakers?! Inside Kid Kapichi's new album Here’s What You Could Have Won

From Tory 'word events' to billionaires to xenophobia, Kid Kapichi wind-up merchant Jack Wilson lifts the lid on each track of second album, Here’s What You Could Have Won...

Partygate. The cost of living. Super soakers?! Inside Kid Kapichi's new album Here’s What You Could Have Won
Words:
James MacKinnon
Photos:
Andy Ford

Here’s What You Could Have Won, the second album by Hastings punk rockers Kid Kapichi, is an album of our time. More specifically, it is eerie how lines like ‘Look at us queueing up, so formal / Sunday roast, God Save The Queen’ from album opener New England feel so much more relevant arriving now, in a week where hundreds of thousands queued for miles to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II resting in state. “We have a tendency of writing things a year or two before it happens,” chuckles Kapichi mouthpiece Jack Wilson of the universe’s sense of comic timing. “It will be an experience to play these songs live in light of what is happening right now.”

Skewering everything from Little Englander xenophobia and Partygate to the rising costs of living through Kapichi’s worm’s eye view, Here’s What You Could Have Won feels like a trash can rattling wake up call for the present moment. And as he unpacks each track of this incendiary album, Jack has a few bones to pick…

1.New England

“We wanted to start strong and show people that our politics haven’t changed, but also that the problems we’re talking about in this song – xenophobia, racism – are getting worse. I grew up with immigrant grandparents, but because I have blond hair and fair skin it’s like I ‘got away with it’. People being like, ‘Oh, we don’t mean you’, when they spout racism. So it is a really personal thing for me to call out and to bring to the forefront in this song, because a lot of people suffer racist treatment daily.”

2.Rob The Supermarket

“In the past we have been known to ‘accidentally’ take a few things from Morrisons or Tescos. We used to nick Krispy Kreme from service stations, even though none of us even like them! But it was like, ‘You’ve been overcharging us for years, so we’re going to rob you.’ There is a huge cost of living crisis and food bank use is at an all time high, so there’s a little bit of us here saying, ‘Go for it!’”

3.5 Days On (2 Days Off)

“I don’t know many people who work only five days any more. At no point should we be in this situation where people are having to work two jobs, work overtime and still not be able to make ends meet. So this song talks about that, but at the same time it’s also a bit of a thank you to people who work their arses off and spend their money coming to see us."

4.I.N.V.U.

“I think when you’re talking about serious issues it’s important not to come off as preachy, so quite a few of our songs are tongue-in-cheek. At the same time, this song is taking the piss out of modern social media content and how people get sucked into feeling like they need to portray a certain lifestyle. In the band we feel like that a lot of the time – blame TikTok!”

5.Super Soaker

“We were reading about how David Bowie would cut up newspapers, rearrange them and make songs out of the weird word combinations. A lot of our songs have a message so we thought, ‘Let’s try and write something that is balls-to-the-wall nonsense!’ It’s a fun one to play live and we bought some insanely strong water guns to bring out onstage during this song.”

6.Party At No.10

“We had one more song to write for the album, so I went around to Ben’s [Beetham, guitar/vocals] and literally two or three nights earlier all the stuff about the lockdown parties at No. 10 had come out, so this song wrote itself. It was mad, like the Tories were seeing how far they could push it. Genuinely, one of the reasons we wrote this song is to not let people forget. However many people listen to this in a month or 10 years' time, this will be a reminder that this did happen and you can’t let them get away with it because they will keep pushing it.”

7.Cops & Robbers

“This song is about global warming and laughing how people like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos all look like aliens and now they’re investing in ways to literally fly into space. Time is running out and these billionaires have so much power to change things, but they’re helping to destroy the planet. You can sit there at 9pm cleaning out your Marmite jars, but change needs to come from the top.”

8.Tar Pit

“This song was born from a night at Eddie’s [Lewis, bass] house where we got absolutely annihilated. We were celebrating the release of the first album during a lockdown so we drank for everyone that should have been there, went out into the garden and we were staring into the sky, saying how it looked like a tar pit. The following week Ben and I started writing and this big psychedelic song came out of that.”

9.Never Really Had You

“Me and Ben grew up listening to The Libertines and I loved that they would always have a few ballads on each album. We wrote this song, just the two of us with piano and guitar, and those are my favourite writing experiences. It shows a different side because this is an album about what has been going on in all our lives this past year and a half. There’s going to be a lot of politics, but there’s also real life things like relationships.”

10.Smash The Gaff

“When you’re nearly done with an album it’s easy to see what you’re missing, and I felt we were missing an over-the-top banger. I rang Ben and said, ‘Listen to Hysteria by Muse and give me that in Kapichi format.’ We wrote that song for people to enjoy at our live shows, go fucking mad and smash up everything. It’s our Break Stuff!”

11.Special

“Special is all about lockdown and this big feeling of depression. Those constant lockdowns put a lot of pressure on people who were financially or socially vulnerable, and we lost a good friend in the band who committed suicide during lockdown. He was really well-known around town and he’s a big part of that song, when you feel that depression coming on and some people don't make it through those times.

"The overall journey we wanted to take people on with this album isn’t meant to be one of hopelessness, though. It’s a feeling that we’re not alone in this. You’re not being listened to by the powers that be, but we hear you and we all feel the same. At our shows we’re sharing our mutual negativity and trying to turn it into something positive. That’s what this album is to me.”

Here's What You Could Have Won is out now via Spinefarm

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