First, the rhythm, then, the rebel, finally, the treble…
Welcome to King Khan and The Shrines!!! Funkier than a mosquito’s tweeter.
The entry fee alone was worth the dynamite intro, a shorter, chunkier but no less explosive instrumental version of the fuzzed up, funky and fantastic ‘Fear And Love’ which oils up the crowd before Mr. Khan sashays on stage, unusually for him, conservatively dressed in faun slacks, matching jacket and an elegant evening shirt. Oh yeah, and the huge, elaborate headdress. Any self-respecting milliner would be proud of such a creation.
So, fashions aside, where were we? Oh yeah. Eight funky players crammed onto the Brudes tiny stage, sweating room only. The screaming, soul drenched, garage punk rhythm and blues clicks into gear, topics of the night? Usually, sex. Either King Khan is a really frustrated man, or he just loves a good fucking, but it ain’t sleazy. Well, it is, but it’s the right kinda sleazy, and it’s funny, it’s sweaty an’ it’s funky. We’re only three songs in and everyone, bar none, is having a shakin’ fit, well, apart from one huge dude stood at the front of the stage, smartphone held aloft, filming every minute. The Shrine cats keep playing and the groove keeps moving but Mr. King’s between song chit-chat with the audience stops for a very brief moment. “Hey man, your camera’s in my face an’ it’s getting on my nerves, can you stop filming please…” asks Mr. King oh so politely, “…you’re gonna miss the show”. The filming stops, the crowd cheers and the best soul/R’n’B/garage punk machine this side of Berlin slams back into gear and continues ripping shit up.
No Regrets – Aggressive, devil may care, Stooge-like Bite My Tongue – Tuneful, spritely, optimistic
Then an instrumental, and King Khan disappears. The Shrines, clearly having a real good time, start to up the pace, the tension builds, the beats get heavier, the bass gets so deep I think I’m gonna shit and the crowd keeps on dancin’. Then, outta nowhere, Mr. King. Khan reappears in his most fetching outfit yet, a jet black leotard with an elaborate chest motif whilst at the back, the delightful outfit has the arse cheeks cut out. Haute couture ain’t shit compared to this. The headdress remains in place and intact however. He clearly loves this outfit and so do the crowd. Personally, I couldn’t take my eyes off his attire. Why? Well, I have a penchant for jet black leotards with the arse cheeks cut out, and secondly, it’s just funny, but don’t take my fucking word for it you lovely lot, everyone in the wonderful Brude, a northern mainstay of high standing with no indie landfill whatsoever, is laughing, smiling, singing an’ a dancing. Because that’s what King Khan and his Shrines make people do. The band are now starting to cut loose. The keyboard player, Fredovitch, with keyboard in hand, star jumps into the crowd and dances with each and every one, whilst playing ditties and doing the mashed potato. Did you get that? I said jumping off stage, playing keyboard, and dancing with the crowd. That’s just ridiculous don’t you think? No matter where you are, you’ll find it hard to see a live! band better than King Khan and The Shrines. Then the sax player joins his keyboard playing cohort, the crowd go wild and onstage, a guitarist is lying on the floor, but don’t worry, he’s not dead, he’s playing a funky riff that the J.B’s would’ve been proud of. Now the keyboard player is back onstage, doing handstands. No health and safety concerns around this manor.
69 Faces of Love – Thoughtful, sexual innuendos, groovy I Wanna Be A Girl – Psychedelic, fast paced, humorous
But King Khan and The Shrines aren’t just gurning, stage diving pervy outfit wearing imbéciles, they’re serious is as serious does when it comes to race, identity, peace, love, war, either in between song ‘bants’, or ‘Ball of Confusion’ rants and the whole band are an Amphetamine fuelled* teeth-grinding energy enhancer that kicks in straight away and doesn’t relent. *The writer isn’t implying that any member of the mighty King Khan and The Shrines use illicit substances, I’m merely attempting to suggest that their stage energy is unrelenting, euphoric, alert, confident and energetic, similar I would imagine to the effects of the stimulant known as Amphetamine. I’m painting a picture with words tis all.
Take A Trip – Energetic, Go!Go! Fun Stone Soup – Chase scene, funky, cheeky
Finally, an outfit change. This time, an alluring and exotic piece of evening wear that, if I wore it at home and was attempting to woo my wife, I know for sure that she would be putty in my chubby, sweaty hands. Lycra oversized pants, and a large, sheer, polyester cape. And that’s it. And the headdress of course. The crowd? Still dancing like gibbons and still laughing like jackals, the band and the crowd feeding each other’s frenzy. The fuzz and funk continues, as light as a feather and as heavy as a mutha. We’re taken to the obligatory band go off but then come back on again but boy oh boy are we glad they did. Mr. King comes back on, this time stark bollock naked, and does the splits James Brown stylee but unfortunately for him lands on a beer bott…actually I just made that bit up. He didn’t come on in a new outfit, he came on and blasted us full in the face with a double barrel of scorched earth soulgaragepunk and no mistake. Then they finish. Then they say “Thank you”. Then they flogged some merch’. And they sold shitloads.
So thank you King Khan and The Shrines, keep on keepin’ on.