Live Review: Kawala / Bagge / Sofy – Outernet, London 22.05.2024

Henry Groves

By Henry Groves

As part of their European tour, KAWALA were playing their only UK date at London’s HERE at Outernet, and it was bound to be a special one. Sold out in a matter of weeks, this has to be one of KAWALA’s biggest headline shows they have ever played. 

The supports for the night were Bagge (pronounced Baggy) and SOFY with both supports producing excellent sets, with crowds packing in early, they certainly got them warmed up. SOFY’s set was outstanding. With her witty lyrics and catchy guitar riffs, the crowd quickly danced.

It was a few minutes before the show that the crowd started cheering and oohing as the KAWALA logo moved around the big screen, like the DVD logo, with big cheers every time it got close to hitting a corner. It wasn’t long after this that the band took to the stage, and with the crowd already vocal, they gave a thunderous roar as the band took to the stage.

Now, I don’t think it’s possible to attend a KAWALA show and have a bad time. The band’s energetic and bouncy stage presence is infectious, and the crowd from front to back matched the band’s energy throughout. 

KAWALA’s set was full to the brim with their own brand of anthemic indie-pop songs. The chemistry between their two frontmen (Jim Higson and Daniel McCarthy) only adds to their lively performance, with neither standing still for more than half a second throughout the set. McCarthy jumps and dances around the stage playing guitar, and Jim jumps and dances (with the not-so-rare jumping kick thrown in for good measure). They kept the tempo up throughout the set, with the exception of ‘Mighty River’, which was just performed by Higson and McCarthy. But the energy and tempo were soon brought back up as Higson got the fans to welcome “the boys” back to the stage. 

Their set was made up of old and new songs, including songs from their 2018 debut EP ‘D.I.L.Y.D.” and brand new single ‘What’s Up’. It didn’t really matter when the song was released, it didn’t stop the room from echoing with the crowd singing along. “Amsterdam didn’t know that song”, McCarthy said after the early single ‘Small Death,’ but there was no doubt the London crowd knew it. 

HERE at Outernet is an incredible venue, and this was one hell of a show. There is plenty to come from KAWALA, and I, for one, am incredibly excited.

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