On the back of the release of her 3rd album ‘Solutions’, Illinois singer-songwriter K. Flay is touring the UK to show off her new music. Tonight the ‘Solutions’ tour stops off at Birmingham’s O2 Academy 2.
Unfortunately due to bad traffic in the city centre tonight I only manage to catch the last couple of songs of Des Rocs set, and even more disappointingly they look like they are an absolute joy to photograph, so I missed out there also. Frontman Danny Rocco is an absolute showman, constantly hyping up the audience with his enticing guitar solos and his fantastic crowd interaction. Their set is brought to a close with ‘Give Me The Night’ and sees them roared off with cheers, I only wish I got to see more!
As I wait for K. Flay to take to the stage I can’t help but notice how diverse the crowd is here tonight, there are people from all walks of life; there are plenty of different age groups, same sex couples, people of colour, families who have brought children along, there is something for everyone here tonight – K. Flay has created a safe space where everyone is welcome.
Finally the headline act arrives, and gets underway with ‘Not In California’. K. Flay does a fantastic job of keeping the crowd captivated, all eyes are on her as she bursts into action. She is joined by drummer Will Baldocchi and Josh Lippi on guitar, who all have a very tight-knit relationship on stage, they all play very fluently together and are a great complement to K. Flay.
The first three songs are all off of the new album, with ‘This Baby Don’t Cry’ and ‘Bad Vibes’ going down really well, before K. Flay throws us back to previous release ‘Everywhere Is Somewhere’ with three songs from that as well, in the form of ‘Champagne’, ‘Giver’ and ‘Black Wave’. It’s nice to see a set list built with songs from a specific era for an artist, it really adds something to the spectacle of the show.
Much of the new album is specifically about self-acceptance for K. Flay, and this is perhaps most evident in following number ‘I Like Myself (Most Of The Time). The new album also is a different kind of sound to some of K. Flays earlier Hip-Hop orientated style, you can’t really put a label on what it is now, as different genres are constantly thrown into the mix.
One thing that hasn’t changed though is the high energy performance, as K. Flay leaps about the stage to the rhythm of her music, especially during ‘DNA’. We do then get to see some of the early Hip-Hop vibes as the main set draws to a close with ‘So Fast, So Maybe’. The encore consists of 'Sister' and then finally hugely popular 'Blood In The Cut' - it's refreshing that arguably her biggest song is off of her new album, as this proves that K. Flay is at the top of her game right now, and possibly the best is still to come.
K. Flay has put on a fantastic intimate performance here tonight in the Birmingham Academy's smaller second room, the future looks very bright - bigger and better shows are almost a certainty!
K.Flay - https://www.facebook.com/kflaymusic/
Des Rocs - https://www.facebook.com/IamDesRocs/
Photos & Review - Sam Robinson Photography