King Khan & The Shrines - Brudenell Social Club Leeds, UK - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

King Khan & The Shrines - Brudenell Social Club Leeds, UK

by Rich Morris Rating:10 Release Date:2012-06-18

Tonight I busted my King Khan cherry and it was quite an experience. The moment the King emerges, open-shirted with a snake tattoo on his chest and a Native American headdress on his bonce, he owns the little Brudenell stage like I’ve never seen anyone do before.

For the similarly uninitiated, King Khan and his band do a kind of DIY punk-soul review; think The Hives with all their energy and showmanship, plus lots of horns, Hammond organ, and a large, rambunctious lunatic out front. Since most the band hail from Berlin, there’s a delicious culture-clash between the very real hard work, sweat and musicianship on show, and the nakedly ersatz origins of the music. This is next-level schlager, plastic soul broken free of its mould, and all the more legitimately punk because of it.

Within the first couple of songs, the guitarist has dived into the audience and is running around. Meanwhile, the King’s relentless references to smoking weed, and the goofy grins of everyone on stage, lead me to conclude the whole band is completely baked.

Off his face he may be, but King Khan is still a pretty sharp dude. He dedicates ‘Thorn in Her Pride’ to “the next generation of pantheresses” and makes it clear the song's title is “not about penises!” Throughout, his band are ridiculously tight, putting any current NME favourite to shame.  

For the encore, the King takes the stage in a cape, bejewelled shorts, and Diana Ross fright-wig and launches into the scintillating rock ‘n’ roll ballad ‘Shivers Down My Spine’, during which he rivals Screamin’ Jay Hawkins with his gloriously unhinged wails. While the King and his band jump into the crowd, many of the crowd take the opportunity to climb up on stage for a drunken boogie before diving back into the audience. This what a gig should be like!

If you get the chance to see King Khan and the Shrines live - do it. You’ll laugh, you’ll dance, you’ll sing along to songs you’ve never heard before, and you’ll probably get high just by standing near the stage. 

Comments (2)

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Yesss! Glad you dug it!

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So did. Downloaded a couple of his albums the day after. Thanks for getting my a ticket. I'll pay you back when next we meet.

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