LIVE REVIEW: KAWALA @ Crash Records, Leeds


After the release of their ‘Better With You’ debut Album Friday, KAWALA joined their fans at Crash Records for a unique and intimate acoustic show and record signing.

The Record store was a modest space, I was surprised at the size of the line waiting out front and even more so amazed at how everyone squeezed inside. I admit it was a little awkward for both fans and the band to perform due to the very little space that seemed invasive, however, turned heartwarming and intimate with smiles all around that felt very exclusive.

I found myself to be in a neat little spot and wasn’t much room for photos and I didn’t want to compromise other people’s view or the surrounding records in the store, So I decided to make the executive decision of living in the moment, take in the atmosphere, get involved where I could and watched.

Additionally, to the lack of space, it was strange to see but no shock to see the band mounted upon the front desk, utilising a cajon’s pops and booms provide rhythmic beats and two warm acoustic guitars and acoustic bass.

Points go to the vocals especially to project and perform without the use of mics, both melody and harmony replicated the album perfectly. To me it is always so interesting to see and hear artists without all the production, it feels so raw

and much more emotional to fans and listeners to witness talent and art without the bells and whistles.

Kawala performed a handful of their favourite songs from the album, notably ’Ticket’, ‘Marathon’, ‘Echoes’ and ‘Jesse C’mon’.

It was rather entertaining to hear little anecdotes behind each song and jokes.

But the most touching speech was hearing (paraphrasing) “The crowd and supporters are the important people that got us where we are and the release of this album. The album although, a collection of songs is about the audience and supporters as a big thank you”, further saying “But the next one is about us!”

Ending the set with ‘Never Really Here For Long’ teaching the audience to sing the backing vocals to fulfil a big space in the song that turned out beautifully.

Finally the song ‘Mighty River’ fully stripping back to 3 chords and two harmonising vocals that were pitch perfect to each other.

KAWALA will be on tour and Returning to Leeds to perform at Stylus on 7th April. Tickets are available now.

Follow KAWALA: