Kids In Glass Houses are not just a nostalgia band – review

Kids In Glass Houses are having a real moment, aren’t they?

At the beginning of the year, the Welsh Wonders announced a comeback to commemorate the 15-year anniversary of their debut album, Smart Casual.

After that, their return breathed new life when they played Slam Dunk Festival 2023. There, they had crowds reeling from just how exciting, powerful and still truly fantastic they were.

So then, a lot of pressure was on their headline tour across the UK. The Smart Casual 15-year anniversary shows had them in some of the biggest venues of their career to play the record from front to back.

Hitting the stage of the epic O2 Forum in Kentish Town on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, Kids In Glass Houses transported me back to my youth.

READ MORE Kids in Glass Houses – ‘This comeback was meant to be’

They were one of everyone’s favourite bands as a youth, weren’t they? Releasing some of the poppiest, catchiest, emo tracks around – and home-grown in Great Britain. It rarely got better than that.

Well, Kids In Glass Houses have only gotten better with age.

Frontman Aled Phillips was like a jackrabbit caught in the headlights as he bounced around the stage, non-stop, throughout the evening.

It was truly thrilling to see him explode into each chorus as he excitedly – genuinely excitedly – let his vocals soar at every opportunity he had. Between the sounds of his stunning voice and the moves he spoiled his fans with, this was a performance that allowed fans to lose their minds.

For me, this elevated joy was actually downtrodden, a little, by the rest of the band.

While Aled embodied the epitome of what a frontman should be, the rest of Kids In Glass Houses remained still, strained, somewhat sombre.

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If Kids In Glass Houses are going to make a full comeback in the coming months and years (and by the looks of it, they are), the fringes of the band will need to drastically improve their showmanship. Otherwise, it’ll turn into the Aled Phillips show (which, realistically, is totally fine. But I’d love to see the entire band really enjoying themselves throughout each performance).

With that said, you could not fault any other part of Kids In Glass Houses’ live performance. Every member of the band pulled their weight, musically. Not a wrong note was hit, and the passion was felt.

Kids In Glass Houses could quite easily have been written off as a nostalgia band that had no further future. And they could have given a lacklustre performance which proved they were nothing more than a group from the early 2000s – but they defied all odds. They were a great band. They remain a great band. And they deserve to come back, bigger than ever and really show what melodic British rock can do in 2023.

Kids In Glass Houses – Smart Casual 15th Anniversary Edition is out now.

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