York based R&B Soul princess Kymberley Kennedy co-headlined The Duchess on Sunday alongside All Kings and Queens, the latest project of Australian sensation Gabriella Cilmi. Support came from local electronic rockers Game Theory.
Warming up the crowd, Game Theory‘s set started with a tense build up, culminating in a huge explosion of beats. One part dance, one part indie and one part emo, the three-piece powered through a set that ranged from sexy tracks like Black Lace to the sinister Monster and the emotional Wait For You. The band ended big with their new roof raising single I Won’t Let You (Turn Me Into A Freak).
The first of the two headliners were All Kings and Queens. The brother-sister duo of Joseph and Gabriella launched straight into an energetic and dynamic set. Gabriella was relentlessly mesmerising, feeling each electronic beat, balling herself up and throwing her head back to catch the powerful high notes.
New single Animals already feels like a part of dance culture and set closer Beach took things up another gear. Their cover of Kate Bush’s Hounds Of Love was the best one since The Futureheads’ over a decade ago. A joy throughout.
So the gauntlet was thrown down to Kymberley Kennedy to match their performance. Though less frenetic, the unfaltering quality of Kymberley’s voice was show-stopping. Her versions of Stevie Wonder’s Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day and Baby D’s I Need Your Loving showed her range and natural performance, but it was in her originals where Kymberley really shone. Hit and Run took things down a bit, Hokum introduced a bit of reggae and audience participation to proceedings and, finishing the set, future single All I Wanted prove to be a powerhouse.
Kymberley was backed ably throughout by her talented band. There has to be a special mention for stand-in drummer Joey Leyland, who fit in perfectly despite the short amount of time he had to learn the set.
Game Theory, All Kings and Queens and Kymberley Kennedy played at The Duchess on Sunday 5 July 2015