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I had a rare free Saturday evening yesterday, so I decided to check out some of the free live music that was occurring in Glastonbury and I'm pleased to report that if this was typical there is plenty to see and hear if the mood takes you.

UKID at the King Arthur

Before all that I had to stop and try to assist a young fellow, clearly under the influence of too much shandy booze, who had apparently fallen and smashed his elbow, which indeed look a bit grim, with a lump the size of a cricket bump already forming; he wasn't very cooperative but no doubt in agony, and luckily Paul the ambulance man soon arrived on the scene to sort him out! But I digress.

First stop was the King William which was hosting a show by Combyne 'Arvester from Weston-super-Mare. These guys really had to be heard to be believed as they blasted through their own ridiculously stupid versions of songs of rock and pop numbers to which they applied their own lyrics and a Wurzelled-up slant, with numbers such as Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love (reworked as Addicted to Scrump); One Step Beyond by Madness (now One Scrump Beyond); The Kinks Dedicated Follower of Fashion (Dedicated Drinker of Cider); The Eagles Hotel California ('Otel Bridgwater) and.....well I think you get the picture. The bumpkin accents really were accentuated, the between song banter silly, while in the songs every vowel was dragged out; the lyrics were at times clever, and at others overtly crude, but always daft and it was all fantastically funny and self-deprecating, with lots of digs at the west country. The lads were in dodgy clothes wearing straw hats, and the singer was using a kitchen drawer as a drum to get the small but enthusiastic crowd dancing along. My favourite tracks of the evening were a version of the Dead Kennedys' Holiday in Cambodia, ZZ Tops Sharp Dressed Man (Weird smell, six toes, he's related t'everyone he knows!) and an apparently new song to their set: Teenage Kicks by the Undertones (with the chorus cheddar cheese right through the night). Their version of Hall and Oates Man Eater, was particularly misogynistic, but the bevy of Glastonbury beauties dancing away to it down the front didn't appear particularly bothered! This really is the sort of music suited to an outside stage in the early evening sunshine, replete with gurt lush gallons of scrumpy and the like, but enjoying it while supping on a pint of Addlestonmes in the front bar of a pub is an adequate substitute.

Just up the road in the Crown, long time Glastonbury favourites Cable Co. were playing. With a new album in the pipeline and with well over a decade of gigs under their belts it meant that they are now an extremely slick and polished act and their keyboard and guitar driven rock was flawlessly delivered. Tonight they played a mixture of covers and originals, although with three gigs to check out in one evening I only caught some of their second set which was comprised of cover versions (although apparently the first set featured all their original material), including U2's With or Without You, an awesome version of the theme to Live and Let Die, and Hey Joe. Admittedly I'm not the greatest fan of covers bands, especially when the numbers aren't majorly reworked so it would have been better to have heard some of their own material (I should have arrived earlier I guess), but no doubt they'll be gigging in town again before too long. Nevertheless it was a polished performance, with strong musicianship, and Steve Bilsborough's strong and capable vocal delivery and both the band and the punters were clearly enjoying themselves.

Finally it is off down to the Excalibar in the King Arthur to catch the last 40 minutes of UKID, who were tonight plugging a new 3-track EP "Dole" that was released this week on indie label Phoenixx Records. They did have a support band in the form of Mudslideslim but alas I arrived too late to catch them. Three of the UKID guys are from Glastonbury, and all four are currently studying at Staffordshire University, so although they're making a name for themselves in this area, they can now take it further north. Soundwise, UKID have been described as being Pendulum-esque with a bit of Kaiser Chiefs thrown in for good measure, but that alas does them a disservice; they are much more unique than that, with plenty of variation in their numbers which are on the whole quite ballsy, extremely catchy and propelled by the great rhythm section of both drummer Joey who hammers away relentlessly at his drums and KJ who really keep the songs moving along with his thundering basslines; yet even the slower numbers are groove laden and infectious. The lyrics courtesy of Ben Jah have a youthful political edge, alongside the naivety that comes with it, but they're very catchy and his voice really suits the music, although he could be a bit more forceful at times especially in the more hip-hoppy numbers. With a few lucky breaks and some hard work this band could go far...and I certainly hope they do, there's plenty of style and substance here!

Galleries of the three bands are here:

Combyne 'Arvester

Cable Co

UKID - Glastonbury People

urning up at the King Arthur pub last Saturday night was reminiscent of a time past, with a small entry fee and two good bands to listen to.

Hound (formerly known as Futs Lung) were supported by a new entry into the world of live music.

Rap and rock can be hard music to put together but UKID benefit from the fact that front man Ben-Jah and the bassist Kali-Jon are brothers and therefore familiar with each other's musical influences. It seems that UKID has an interest in high energy and politically driven music with an experimental edge and they gave a consistent performance which would appeal to fans of hip hop and rock music alike.

I managed to get talking to the UKID front man about the band's goals. He said: "UKID are a political band with balls. Political content can be a bit unusual these days many other bands are blinded by money and women and they lose touch with that raw energy which gets the crowd going."

UKID have obviously improved since we last saw them in Glastonbury and their sound was well balanced, without any instrument dominating.

It makes for an optimistic future for these guys, whose drummer Joey has quit his job to dedicate his time to the band.

Hound have been around the block a few times, having supported big names such as Supergrass, so this sort of thing was nothing new to them.

They played an interesting blend of melancholic rock music which saw people enjoying the set from start to finish.

Both bands were of a good standard in the King Arthur last Saturday and this bodes well for the local music scene.

Hopefully, bands such as these two on the local scene can inspire more people to blow the dust off of their instruments and take to the stages of mid-Somerset with the motivation that bigger stages are not that far away.

It certainly would not do any harm to have more nights like this during 2011.

Dan Kiddle - This is Somerset

UKID - I like the name (could be “you kid” or the rotten U.K. ID cards ) is a rock band with a Rap Metal attitude and an impressive musical pedigree. Former ‘Durban Poison’ man KJ (bass) created the band along with MC Beanie (Ben-Jah Jon.) And, once the grimy drum n’ bass met the blistering metal in the forges from hell, the UKID sound was cast into iron. It’s like Rage Against the Machine crossed with Oceansize.

UKID bring us songs like “Dole” which is a shattered plate of sounds; A skillet of skanky beats whipped to a frenzy by metallic and thrashingly hypnotic guitars, thrown together with squeaks and beeps from the keyboards (Ben-Jah goes to the keys periodically.) The vocals are insistent and reliable – more calm than furious, the rhythms are always focussed and assured. The bass play is big and gruesome and brought to you in gigantic proportions by the hairy thumbster KJ.

Other songs have the kind of sound quality and size reminiscent of tunes from bands such as Kaiser Chiefs and even as far back as The Clash. Yet there is also plenty of drum ‘n’ bass, combined with hip hop, to get you back to todays date. The searing and screaming lead guitar from redheaded razzle-dazzler Glenn add frantic and fiery elements to the whole UKID package, making the band seem more progressive, and somehow more metallic, than other bands in the same genre.

But it is fair to say that, at the Staines Hob gig, the music tendered by this immortal Glastonbury gang tended to veer from tantalizingly terrific and heart-racingly superb at times – right down to buzzy low-threshold monobloc tedium. Which is a shame, because the nurtured talent was clearly available – just not in a consistent formula. Naturally enough, the keen and krazy krowd at the Staines Hob lapped it all up (good and bad) and were dancing in the aisles and crazy to hear the tunes. But some of the numbers failed to hit their mark, often in quite a dramatic way. The main voice of Ben-jah was not nearly strong enough to be heard above the multiple layers of sound underneath. And the backing vocals from Glenn were often too loud – and, more often than not – quite alarmingly off-key.

But nonetheless, songs like “War = Money” with it’s innovative and impressive flowergarden of experimentation and smoky acid vibes was like encountering Eminem whilst visiting a dream-like “Octopus’s Garden” and finding out that he is actually in a political frame-of-mind. Freaky, fancy and fine. This song is like a saline drip of conscientiousness.

The best tune of the night was the techno industrial-strength dance number (second to last song of the set) that was a spaced-out labyrinthine journey into the spiralling and pulsating sub-conscious. With melting guitar licks from Glenn, huge chunks of keys from Ben-Jah, hypnotic drums from Joey and deeply reverberating bass-play from KJ. I hoped that this tune would never stop!

Merging heavy rock with dance-sounds is not new, but UKID are so skilled and so fresh that the sounds actually do seem refreshingly vital. Watch this band rise.

© Neil_Mach
March 2011 - Neil Mach


Dole E.P - Released 1st July 2011.
Tracks - Dole, Sex Sells, Fall in Line.

Bad Looks Good Intentions E.P - Released 12th May 2012 by Phoenixx Records.
Tracks - Balls, Good Looks Bad Intentions, Attack of the Clones.

Crooks E.P - Released 8th September 2012
Tracks - Riser, Fallen, Crooks, Drugs

Our track 'Balls', as well as all the tracks on our 'Crooks' EP, are currently being played on Sub TV and various radio stations across the UK. Please listen out for them!



Creating their style from a fusion of Drum and Bass, Rap Metal and Electronica, UKID are an energetic, cutting-edge four-piece with powerful tunes and lyrics that bite back!

From the infectious melodies of ‘Crooks’, ‘Good Looks’ and ‘Fall In Line’ to the darker, more hard-hitting ‘Drugs’, ‘Freedom Of Speech’ and ‘Fallen’, the UKID song sheet is loud and raw—like the band’s live performance!

UKID have been together now for just over 2 years, and have 70+ gigs under their belt, having played many venues up and down the country, from Bristol, Bath and Glastonbury in the South West to Reading, Staines and Woking in the South East and even up as far as Birmingham, Stoke, Stafford and Walsall in the Midlands. They have also played several London venues, including Camden’s Dublin Castle and Hoxton’s Mother Live.

More recently UKID have been selected for an exclusive collaboration and sponsorship deal with a leading UK fashion brand, and a national promotion campaign is planned for the spring of 2013. Their track ‘Fallen’ has been chosen as the title track for the brand’s promo video, in which UKID will feature prominently, while lead singer Ben-Jah will feature in the brand’s campaign advert.

In parallel with this campaign UKID are currently recording their first single and album, which are due for release in the spring of 2013 to coincide with the campaign.

And oh yeah ... their latest EP, ‘Crooks’, was released in September 2012, and is available for download on Bandcamp!