Kubrick made his live debut on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at The Underworld in Camden Town. Despite being a stalwart in the music industry, the artist is still very new to the scene. Over the past few months, he has been building a strong online fanbase which – considering he only started releasing music in the final chunk of last year – has been a boon to him. His overall aesthetic and budget seem to be a big help. Three of his four singles have hit the airwaves complete with intensely creative music videos that make some of your standard top ten tracks look painfully cheap.
And within seconds of being on stage on Saturday night, Kubrick proved he was not all talk and had a right to be supporting The City Is Ours (who, by the way, delivered a truly remarkable set that deserves to go down as one of their best).
Kubrick literally launched onto the stage as his song Devastate began ringing out, emanating confidence and a desire to prove himself to someone else’s crowd; he certainly didn’t come to play. Instantly comfortable with his surroundings, Kubrick began building a performance that was akin to a headline show – and in doing so, the seasoned performer managed to make some of the previous support acts look amateur in their delivery.
Those unfamiliar with Kubrick at the start of his set were appropriately warmed up by the end of Devastate, which was capped off by a guttural scream that caught the first three rows off guard.
This sense of utter disbelief seemed to be a theme in his set. On top of the support of his full band, he had a backing track of his own vocals accentuating his shrieking falsettos and cleaner tones at every turn.
But he didn’t need it.
The experimental nature of his music means Kubrick often drops in morsels of dance and dubstep (no, really) while also switching up his vocal style up mid-chorus. On paper, this might sound a little rough, but it was flawless live.
READ MORE – INTERVIEW: Kubrick: ‘Painfall is me breaking out of formulaic metal music’
An untitled mid-set track uttered echoes of HEALTH and Don Broco, but – crucially – proved Kubrick knows how to produce a dance track that will get any crowd moving. Those staring at him honestly seemed like they couldn’t believe they were enjoying this Frankenstein’s monster of a hit – simply because of how unusual it was.
Despite how interesting Kubrick’s compositions are, without a doubt the most impressive part of his show was his voice.
Somehow, he managed to reach the soaring highs of his incredibly-written Painfall cleanly just after firing on all cylinders with some brutal roars in Waved. With vocal tones like this, he could have filled a much larger venue. Every hardcore howl was almost accompanied by a gust that commanded the crowd to obey.
Kubrick later told me he hasn’t played a show for three years; you would never know. By the time he dove into Mannequin – his most violent track – he had completely settled into performing again. He put some artists who have been selling out Brixton to shame with his sheer energy and bravado. It was glorious.
If anything, Kubrick seemed stifled on The Underworld’s stage. Between his three energetic cohorts, the singer looked like he was yearning for more room to really explore his performance. I feel that this, coupled with some truly unlucky microphone issues, threw him off his game for a hot second.
Either way, by the end of his set, Kubrick’s name was known throughout Camden, and with good reason. This is what headline shows are made of.
On the way out of the venue, I overheard people in awe at how much of himself Kubrick brought to the stage. I’d bet they’ll continue to be surprised by what’s coming next.
Listen to Kubrick here.