Kip Moore lit up KOKO last week with his own brand of Country music that had the capacity crowd whooping with delight and punching the air from the moment he stepped on stage.
Hailing from Georgia, USA and with two hit albums to his name, Kip Moore was in the UK promoting ‘Wild Ones’, his second album released back in August 2015. During a near two hour set, Kip Moore showed why he has taken Country music by storm and even motivated a marriage proposal from the crowd. His first album, ‘Up All Night’, released in April 2012, was the best selling debut album by a country male, whilst his follow up is stacking up sales and cementing his position as a country singer of some note.
Born in Tifton Georgia, Kip began playing guitar at College in Alabama before moving to Hawaii and enjoying the surfing backpacking lifestyle there. In 2004 he moved to Nashville where songwriter and producer Brett James took him under his wing and helped him to sign a publishing deal. It is this varied upbringing which helps Kip’s music to have such variety within its genre and feel like it has so many influences as well as country. In October 2011, ‘Something About a Truck’ hit number one on the Billboard Country chart, and Kip seemed to be on his way. However, despite a hit debut album, follow up singles from a proposed second album were disappointing with ‘Young Love’ and the excellent, ‘Dirt Road’ not making the impression Kip had hoped for. He went back to the drawing board, or songwriting board, and came back stronger with August 2015 release ‘Wild Ones’. Kip’s music tells the stories of life and it is this determination which typifies his song writing and makes it so resonant with the audience. It’s the stories of his life, but also the stories of other people’s lives too.
At KOKO, Kip sang songs from both albums and even threw in a new song and a couple of covers. Interestingly he seemed to move away from the set list taped to the sound deck when he changed the acoustic part of the evening, a part where Kip’s excellent voice really shone, to include an excellent new song, ‘Guitar Man’, and a cover of Oasis’s, ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’. During ‘Guitar Man’, a song that reminds us why we love Kip Moore and his wonderful ability to tell a story in a song , Kip broke off playing to tell how a former girlfriend had told him his music wouldn’t amount to anything and that he would dedicate the last verse to her, “I had me a pretty baby, thought she was the one, but she soon grew tired of this love on the run, she said she felt second, told me I had to choose, she’s back in Georgia and I’m here with you”. KOKO roared their approval, Kip flashed a smile and carried on “at the end of the night we’ll all be best friends” and it was a sealed deal, London loves Kip Moore! One lady even screamed a marriage proposal!
During the first part of the night at KOKO, Kip barely drew breath as he moved from one song to the next, leaping on the amps, gyrating more than most men of country and brandishing his guitar, in the words of Elvis, “like a Tommy gun” and generally whipping the capacity crowd into a state of excitement that never really stopped till the end of the night. This is not to detract from how good Kip Moore is live, the frenetic pace doesn’t mean any dip in quality. Throughout the evening he was note perfect and the cheers from everywhere never stopped from men and women, young and old alike.
Kip Moore is an incredibly talented singer song writer and at the moment Country fans are lucky to be in a run of visits from some great stars. Brantley Gilbert plays Shepherds Bush at the weekend and Thomas Rhett will visit that same venue in November. But, KOKO is a venue that is made for Country music as the fans are wrapped around the stage and then tier up at the back so there is real energy. Kip Moore was obviously fired up by the raw emotion of the crowd and delivered a performance of incredible quality right up to the wonderful finale of ‘Faith When I Fall’ which sampled Tom Petty’s ‘Free Falling’, and gave the audience another chance to sing back at their hero.
To say thank you Kip said he would hang around and sign autographs until everyone who wanted one was happy. He was so popular he may have still been signing into the early hours. Kip Moore sings “the fruits of my labours when the crowd sings along” and if this is truly how he feels, and I think it is from his charming stage presence, he would have gone home a happy man and convinced that in the UK he is truly loved by the country music faithful. Come back soon Kip!