Belfast Telegraph

Bipolar Sunshine: No more Kid's play as singer refuses to be pigeon-holed

Ahead of his Belfast gig the singer tells Edwin Gilson how it took an Olympic-sized shove to make him relaunch his music career

The London Olympics 2012, a time of pride and joy for most Britons. Whilst many were enjoying Danny Boyle's spectacular opening ceremony though, or heralding Team GB's impressive medal haul, musician Adio Marchant was experiencing a discomfiting revelation.

Back then, he was the vocalist of six-piece Kid British, a group of Manchester youngsters that dabbled in a multitude of styles. As the name reveals, theirs was a sound deeply rooted in British music history, drawing influence from the likes of Blur, The Specials and The Streets. Marchant and co even sampled Madness's Our House on perhaps their most famous single, Our House Is Dadless, a gritty tale of growing up without a paternal presence. The name of Kid British's debut album, It Was This or Football, encapsulated the group's quintessentially British appeal.

Looking back on the summer of 2012, however, Marchant, who now performs solo under the moniker Bipolar Sunshine, and comes to The Limelight this September, is frank about his former band's misgivings.

"The Olympics was one of the things that did for Kid British, for sure," he says. "We looked at that opening ceremony and thought: 'Maybe we're not completely in touch what Britain is at the moment'. We were just from this little borough of Manchester and the Olympics made us realise how ... off-course we were in relation to the rest of the country."

Another reason for the split was the belief, voiced by Marchant, that "everyone in the band had a lot more talent than they were able to express within the confines of the group". Ultimately, the socially sharp yet narrow lyrical focus left them "writing into a corridor".

"You can really pigeon-hole yourself by writing about one particular theme or area," adds Marchant. The singer also tells of the identity crisis that beset Kid British, humourously asserting that "it's always going to be difficult when you go to see a record label with the description of being a cross between The Specials and 5ive".

Despite the fact that merging musical styles prompted the end for his band, Marchant today enthuses about the "genre-less" sounds that young musicians are creating, himself included.

"Music's up in the air at the moment," he states. "I feel like we're moving away from genre-driven music, to a place where young artists aren't bothered about past movements; they're documenting the time and space that they're in right now."

This theory applies to the music of Bipolar Sunshine, which features electronic elements but also calls to mind anthemic indie acts like Bastille. Marchant chose the name because it describes the "ups and downs of life, with the sunshine being the light at the end of the tunnel", which is also reflected in his songs, that largely contain melancholy lyrics behind upbeat melodies. It's that juxtaposition that Marchant is interested in exploring.

As Kid British folded, Marchant made the move from his native Manchester to London. He explains that, despite "still loving Manchester", he feels "there is an old guard in the city that are not letting the new generation come through".

Adio Marchant seems a man on a mission to sculpt a new, diverse future for British music. You wouldn't bet against him, and other like-minded artists, achieving that goal.

Bipolar Sunshine plays The Limelight on September 24. For details, visit www.limelight belfast.com

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