A Catch up with Kid Kapichi
It’s been a little while since Underground has checked in with unruly rockers from Hastings. Founded by Ben Beetham and Jack Wilson, this foursome has taken the fast-lane to success on the indie market and have quickly become the band on indie listeners lips that most of them cannot pronounce correctly. Nonetheless, their popularity has led to scoring support slots for the likes of Slaves, Fat White Family and Nova Twins, and are continuing to add to rapidly growing list.
With a selection of EPs and singles on offer for the humble listener, Kid Kapichi fill your earholes with only the finest of riffs and archetypal English punk styling to their vocals. Their latest release ‘2019’ is the perfect display of their sarcastic lyricism that comments on the distain towards the greedy bourgeois, echoing the style of fellow musicians like Slaves and Idles, while also fluctuating between classic punk notes and a sprinkling of rambunctious rock tones. While the country might be in chaos the music scene certainly isn’t even if it holds up a mirror to the country’s socio-political blunders and Kid Kapichi are a model example of this.
Underground had the chance to catch up with the Kid Kapichi lads following their tour supporting Clava Louise up and down the country, to talk all things style, tour and music based as well as touching on what we must look forward from these boys and their political grievances…
Underground: How did Kid Kapichi come to be?
Jack: Myself and Ben used to live together in the old town of Hastings which is pretty much the music hub of the town. We started messing about writing the odd song here and there and ended up writing our first single named ‘Ice Cream’. I went to school with Eddie and George and they had been playing music together for years and years, so we got them involved and it just developed from there. We never expected years down the line we’d be making a career out of what started as a bit of fun. But hey, it is still just as much fun as the day we started, and we can’t do anything else so here we are.
Ben: Yeah, it’s mad to think of how it’s all turned out from writing that first tune, all I can say is that being able to take this journey with people you’ve got so much history with is a special thing. Also, yeah, it’s the only thing any of us are any good at, so luckily, it’s where we’re at.
How do you pronounce “Kid Kapichi”?
Jack: Very good question. We’ve had a lot of mispronunciations of it, everything from kinky peaches to ginger piggies. Everyone always seems to call us Kid Kapichi. Not sure why. But it’s pronounced like ‘Kid Kapeachy’
Ben: Like a delicious fruit.
Sweet stuff… but you’ve got a sound that’s pretty rough and ready, what are your main musical inspirations?
Ben: We’ve always had quite different inspirations as individuals but always have had a fair amount of cross over point, always digging through each other’s playlists. I think inspiration comes in many forms with music, more than just straight up sounds or genre specifics – it can just be the feeling you get from hearing a tune or the energy it has.
Jack: I’d say our biggest have always been QOTSA, The Clash, The Specials; and for me personally, The Amazing Snakeheads or anything by Ennio Morricone.
Your individual styles are all unique too, are there any fashion icons you look to when it comes to what you wear?
Ben: I can’t really say that we have too many fashion icons that we pay attention to too closely. Personally, I suppose I draw from musicians or films I like, I guess I’m always on the lookout for some animal print or something shiny – but I think as a collective we keep an open mind when it comes to what we wear.
Jack: Joe Strummer has always been the man in that department for me, and there is a musician in Hastings known as Dr Savage that is probably the best-dressed man in showbiz. He gave me a lot of his old garms on what the best day of my life was probably. So, if there is anyone I’m ripping off, it’s certainly him.
Have you guys always wanted to start a career in music?
Jack: I think we’ve all always loved music and would be doing it no matter what. Whether we thought we’d make a career out of it is another question. I think it’s probably up there with one of the dream jobs everyone wishes they could have. For me, I’ve only ever wanted to do music. There is nothing else that makes sense to me or makes me feel as alive as playing to hundreds of people or getting recognition for something we’ve created. It’s only been recently that we’ve all felt like we could actually achieve that dream. We always hoped we were good enough, but sometimes it takes more than just being ‘good’.
Ben: The feeling of creating something that resonates with other people is something I got hooked on the first time I ever felt it, and if we can figure out how to make a living from that, then like Jack says it’s the dream job.
So, you’re on tour with Calva Louise, how did that happen?
Ben: Well we’ve been friends with the guys from Calva for a while now. Eddie and I met them through Nova Twins, and we went to see them play last year and got chatting. It came up that they were touring, and we just messaged them on Insta, and it was kind of decided just like that within a space of minutes. We feel very blessed to have shared a stage with them on that tour, they’re amazing and super fun to be with.
Boys with Clava Louise, Prince Albert and X-Ray. PHOTO CREDS: Keira-Anne Photography
Do you have any gigs in the pipeline you are excited to play?
Jack: We have a show coming up on the 30th April at the Scala in London with The Blinders which we’re excited about, and Jack Saunders from Radio 1 has a night called Hopscotch on the 23rd April at the Sebright Arms. Apart from that, we’re really excited to start our headline shows in London later this year, keep an eye out on our socials for those.
Ben: There are loads more in the pipeline that we’re super excited about but aren’t allowed to say too much about just yet ha-ha.
What are your touring essentials?
- Extra duvets
- AUX cable
Sounds pretty plush, do you have any road trip tracks that get you through the long journeys?
Jack: I’m always in charge of what goes on the speakers during travels. We’ve been listening to a lot of Demob Happy and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, but it always goes back to The Specials somehow. Post gig Robbie Williams is a must.
What do you think makes the perfect gig?
Ben: The audience always. We’d rather play to 20 people all singing along and going crazy than 1000 that weren’t vibing the night as much. But luckily as time goes on, we’re getting the best of both scenarios more and more.
You’ve told Underground before that you don’t think music and politics and/or social commentary should be exclusive from one another. Your newest track ‘2019’ is clearly a critical reflection on today’s socio-economic climate, can you tell us a bit about the song from your creative perspective?
Jack: Yes absolutely. Often as a musician, you’re told to stay in your lane, which makes us laugh a lot. Politics and music have gone hand in hand forever and as a musician, you want to write about what is real to you and what you’re experiencing at the moment because the best music comes from real experiences and emotions.
Ben: We never wrote ‘2019’ with the intention of making a statement or for anyone other than ourselves. We wrote it because it was something, we felt we needed to say and it’s a form of relief for us to do so, so the fact it’s been adopted by a lot of listeners as a bit of a call to arms, has been amazing. We weren’t sure it would be taken on by radio because it doesn’t really pull any punches, but it’s been the best reaction to any song we’ve put out so we’re happy about that because everything else we’ve written seems to be following a similar path ha-ha.
What does the rest of 2019 (the year) have on the cards for Kid Kapichi?
Jack: Well we have a new single coming out in April called ‘Glitterati’ which is from a forthcoming EP which will be out later in the summer. We’ve got some cool shows that we’re excited about and our first headline shows in London, one of which is in association with Radio X. Some amazing tours on the cards (again can’t say too much just yet but you’ll see why we are so excited soon enough) and we’re just beginning to start work writing our debut album which is mega exciting.
Check out ‘2019’ here:
And find out more about Kid Kapichi here, now you know how to pronounce their name!
Words by Aimee Williams-Maynard