Kitchens of Distinction: Folly – album review

Kitchens Of Distinction ‘Folly’ (3 Loop Music)
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Suddenly it’s twenty years later and they’re back with a great new album – Keith Goldhanger reviews the latest offering from Kitchens Of Distinction.

I don’t remember too much about Kitchens Of Distinction.

I remember that night at the Camden Falcon in the mid to late 80’s when I bunked off work early to get to the pub on time to see a band that I thought were famous and popular and I thought it was exciting that a band of this calibre were playing such a small venue. This belief was justified by the fact that they had made a video that was on a NME compilation VHS with lots of other cool bands that were all against the idea of a country like ours owning and building even more bombs than anyone needed. I was wrong, as the gig I seem to remember wasn’t exactly bursting at the seams.

I seem to remember one of the Kitchens of Distinction was called Patrick and in the video for that great song “The first time we opened the capsule”…he swam in the sea wearing a suit….
And that kind of summed up this band. They were good. Had some fab tunes that got played on the radio, lots of people loved them, but not enough people to make them appear on Top of the Pops. They did appear on Snub, which was a very short lived TV series that came on before our bedtime in the late 80’s and the night I went to see them at the Camden Falcon I remember being surprised that I got in without joining a big queue to get in.

I may be wrong but I seem to recall seeing them on the main stage at one of the big festivals one afternoon as well – maybe Reading Festival – maybe not…

Bands come and bands go and some we remember and some we don’t and some never return and never get mentioned again and them some decide twenty years later to throw out an album of music they’ve been working on which gets picked up one late night on our favourite radio show that stops us in our tracks because , well … Japan To Jupiter sounds like Bowie but we know it’s not.


It sounds a bit like Suede too but we know it’s not either and immediately we’re transfixed on our radio speakers picking up snippets of lyrics about going into town and getting tanked up at a New Romantic club somewhere in the smoke when we were too young to know better but lived to tell the tale and still have no regrets (but that’s another phase of our lives we won’t analyse for the moment).

Here’s an album you can put alongside your Pulp, Elbow and Britpop albums, it’s as fresh as one of the many British Sea Power albums. It’s an album that’s been released nearly twenty years after the last one and it’s the bands fifth. If you remember this band from years gone by you’ll be happy with them returning and if you’d like to hear where many of todays huge stadium bands got some of their ideas from then this is worth hearing.

In another world we’d be watching this band playing these songs as the sun goes down at some of our favourite festivals but as I understand it, that’s not going to happen, no gigs are planned. That’s a real shame but nevertheless it’s great to have this band back and for them to have given us a very welcome piece of music.

The only black mark is with the last track The Most Beautiful Day…

There can only be one “best day in the world ever” and Take That sung about that and that was rubbish too. The Smashing Pumpkins were the kings of the “this is the best day ever in the world” songwriters and we were rolling amongst the dustbins at Reading Festival when we first heard that. (“Perfect days” are different ….. but not now eh?)

Last track aside this is a great album.


Kitchens of Distinction can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

All words by Keith Goldhanger. More work by Keith on Louder Than War can be found here. He’s also on SoundCloud here, Facebook here and tweets as @HideousWheeelInv.

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Keith Goldhanger -- Spent the '90s as a frontman with London noise merchants HEADBUTT - spent the '80s in 'Peel favourites' BASTARD KESTREL. Spent a few years mashing up tunes and remixing bands as HIDEOUS WHEEL INVENTION. Is often out and about getting in the way of things and bumping his head on low ceilings - Will give your band the time of day but will dislike any band that balances full pints of alcohol on the top of guitar amps (Not keen on lead singers that wear hats either).


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