Lil’ King Kong/Serotonin – Simple Kid

Earlier this year I made the mistake of skipping the opening act at the Shins show, and I’ve been kicking myself for it ever since. So yesterday, I finally decided peruse the internets (or the Rhapsodys) and see what I could find from Simple Kid, who opened for BRMC at the Metro last night (not their best performance, in my opinion, but I digress). Sounded decent, got to the show on time, and was figuratively blown away.

Ciaran McFeely is Simple Kid, sort of an Irish version of Beck with a Mac and and Banjo, and not so much the Scientology. Armed with videos, personality, and killer hooks, he plays the live stuff over the recorded stuff, and simply put, rocks the house. I’ve now listened to Lil’ King Kong about a million times in the last two days, and the rest of the album (his second, the appropriately titled ‘2’, which is available on emusic) is rapidly growing on me. Other standout tracks are Serotonin (vid below), Self Help Book, the Ballad of Elton John, and Mommy and Daddy, which was accompanied by videos of deceased professional wrestler Shirley “Big Daddy” Crabtree. He also performed a video duet on “It’s Not Easy Being Green” with Kermit the Frog. It’s on Youtube if you do some exploring. I’d also suggest checking the live version of “Average Man”.

Don’t be lazy and go straight to the video. Click the darn audio link.

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8 Responses to “Lil’ King Kong/Serotonin – Simple Kid”


  • The Uncanny Canadian

    OH my god, Seitz, those songs are awesome. I have to say that I liked Serotonin a lot more than Lil’ King Kong, and I was seriously grooving on first listen. He definitely listened to a lot of The Beta Band. Wow!!!

  • The Uncanny Canadian

    Serotonin = Radiohead’s Wolf at the door 0.25(Beatle’s I am the walrus).

  • Super awesome except the chorus which is just OK. Just in time for the last two days of summer. I expect it would be awesome in concert.

  • That last comment was on “King Kong”- “Serotonin” is really, really awesome. Super good.

  • I just can’t believe there isn’t any buzz about this guy. Nothing on Pitchfork at all. I mean really, nothing. His stuff is very polished, and he was a one man act at the show, which was about as perfect a performance as you can get from an opener.

    I was listening to the first album last night on Rhapsody, and it’s almost just as good (and after a few more listens, I imagine I’ll like it just as much as the second). He was also in a sort of punk band called the Young Offenders that had some minor success in the UK/Ireland about eight years ago, but I can’t find any of their stuff.

    I suggest checking out the songs I mentioned above, too. You may not like them as much as these two, but you *will* like them. I was sold on Lil’ King Kong on the first listen.

  • When I saw Crowded House recently, Liam Finn was one of the openers. I have to say, I’m pretty tired of the solo ‘guy with a guitar’ openers. I’ve seen J Mascis, Bob Mould, Robyn Hitchcock do this, and it is WAY limiting for people like that. Finn did a similar solo thing, but using looping pedals to build up the sound. He’d loop a bass riff off his guitar, then loop a guitar riff and sing, then sit down and pound some drums, often finishing with an aggressive guitar attack. It was kind of refreshing.

    This sounds kind of like that, at least in live presentation. Although Timbuk 3 used a similar approach, using drumbox, and it was very limiting in a live setting; hopefully the Mac gives him some room.

    It helps that these are exactly the kinds of things that get to me. The droney pop of Serotonin is great, But I really hopped up on Lil King Kong. That’s a friggin hook. It also helps that I like banjo.

    I don’t have enough emusic downloads this month, so it’s off to iTunes I guess. Incidentally, the description there for his first album, the inexplicably named “1”, makes it sound as if there IS a bit of buzz about this guy going around. Maybe Pitchfork is just totally cobagging it these days. They’ll probably even slag the new Mekons album.

    And it’s a bonus that he’s on Yep Roc, the same label as Robyn Hitchcock.

  • oh wow. brilliant stuff 🙂 need to stop by here more often than i do already

  • hopefully the Mac gives him some room.

    It was pretty cool, because for Lil’ King Kong, he just had the track cued up and you could follow the progress, but he had videos for some of the other songs. For Serotonin, he basically had the scrolling text that you see in the vid above, but on a black background. For Average Man, which he mashed up with Black Sabbath, he actually had the Black Sabbath vid on the screen.

    If you click through to youtube, there are a bunch of live videos, and they’re a pretty good representation of what his set was like.

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