kid british

kid british

BandPopHip Hop

Kid British are the face of the UK in 2009. They perform an uplifting mash-up of hip hop/ska/indie and electro pop, with sing-a-longs to die for! Imagine the Gorillas meeting The Specials, The Streets, Outkast and Blur in a wonderfully uplifting sonic soup!


The global economy is in freefall. House repossessions are at a high. But forget the credit crunch for a just a moment: Manchester four piece, Kid British are here to sprinkle some interest-free sunshine on what could be a bleak and bankrupt year.

"We want to bring a feel good factor with our music,” says 25 year-old Simeon Mclean - one quarter of the singing/songwriting quartet that also includes Adio Marchant (25), James Mayer (22) and studio ace, Sean Mbaya (25). “Everyone’s going on about there being a depression. People are talking about the climate like there’s an apocalypse coming, but you don't wanna hear that when you go out to see a band or put on some music as well!

We want to write about what we’ve experienced and what we understand. We think everyone needs to have bit of an escape.”

Certainly Kid British are well poised to lift the gloom this year. Having drawn on the street smart sound of pop heavyweights Blur and Madness, the four piece – who were recently polled above Oasis in a survey of Manchester’s best bands – have allied their songwriting craft to a ballsy hip hop production. The results are a rude boy mix of club-friendly beats and bedroom-styled harmonies as evidenced by their 3 track Leave London EP (2009). Imagine the Gorillas meeting The Specials, The Streets, Outkast and Blur in a wonderfully uplifting sonic soup!

Meanwhile, a riotous live sound has them earmarked as one of the must see new bands of 2009.
“We’re a product of the iPod generation,” says Mbaya. “We’ve been influenced by so many different bands from Nirvana through to The Beatles because music is constantly on shuffle. We like rap, reggae, jazz, indie, rock… and we bring all of those ideas to the music. It’s almost impossible to be original these days – people said we sounded like The Specials even before we heard them – so we don’t want to be pigeonholed to any sort of genre.”
They’re not just a bunch of pretty tunes, either – Kid British’s razor sharp lyrical wit has seen them compared to The Streets and Lily Allen among others. Or as UK broadsheet 'The Guardian' recently put it…. “They can also write tunes, really undeniable ones, the kind that sound strangely familiar on first listen, virtually every track on their debut album comes spring-loaded with a fantastic melody “

We don’t want to impose our views on people,” says Mayer. “We want our songs to be uplifting, we wrote the single, Lost In London after spending a couple of days in the capital. Everyone we asked for directions was a tourist, it was so funny. We wanted to capture the fun and excitement of living in a multi cultural society rather than making a heavy political statement.”

By 2008, after a UK industry scramble the band signed to the label that fought the hardest for their signature - Mercury records. They had played Glastonbury, and embarked on their first headline tour. A couple of months later they were recording an album with legendary producers Stephen Street (Blur, The Smiths) and Steve Dubb (Chemical Brothers) and Steve Power (Robbie Williams/feeder).

Already in 2009, they have released the limited edition ‘Leave London EP’ (which sold out pre-sale) and the first half of their debut album 'It was this or football'. The bands debut digital release - the single ‘Our House is Dadless’, a Madness sampling tale of modern UK living, was blasted out heavily on the BBC Radio 1 playlist this summer, amassing big support including the breakfast show’s very own Chris Moyles, and Radio 2’s Steve Wright - who played the record daily on his afternoon show. The record was selected as “single of the week” by major nationwide independent 'XFM radio' and also BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills.

Live-wise 2009 has seen the band tour with with pop-punk urchins, The Enemy, Ska giants The Specials, and play virtually every UK summer festival, before ending the Autumn with their own UK headline tour.

Somewhere along the way they even managed to entertain controversial London mayor, Boris Johnson when an impromptu busking “tour” across the London Underground gathered at Westminster.
“We busked on the London Underground to celebrate the release of Leave London,” says Mayer. “We were at Westminster when suddenly Boris Johnson came past surrounded by aides. We carried on playing, but at first he seemed to think we were staging a protest. By the end there were tourists dancing. Somehow we even managed to put a smile on his face.”

To reflect its title, the band’s debut album ‘It Was This or Football’ will be released in two halves, the eagerly awaited ‘first half’ is now available to purchase/download, with the ‘second half’ to follow in 2010.


Elizabeth - 7" single
Leave London Ep - 3 trk EP
Our House is Dadless - digital single
It Was This Or Football.. (1st half) -
album release (part1)

Set List

1. Don't Listen to Annie
2. Elizabeth
3. Drive-thru
4. Our House is Dadless
5. Cosmopolitan
6. Part time job/Shirt & tie
7. Hot & Cold
8. Already high
9. She will leave
10. Lost in london
11. Sunny Days
12. Stop standin around
13. Lets have a party

The typical set length is 50 to 60 minutes, the band alternatively cover the Katie Perry song 'Hot and Cold' or Green Day's 'Do you know your enemy?'.