Wednesday 7 May 2014

King Khan And The Shrines' Show Is Full Of Soul, Rock And Crazy Outfits

Mix soul with garage rock and punk and let a bunch of crazy musicians play it, fronted by a nutty singer. That's King Khan and the Shrines for you in a nutshell. The last album Idle No More of the band around Arish Ahmad Khan, aka King Khan, came out last year and displayed a reborn Khan. But his live shows are supposed to be legendary so when I won tickets for their performance in the Melkweg I was psyched!

King Khan and the Shrines at Melkweg Amsterdam, May 4 2014

Support act are Chuckamuck from Berlin who should be good at warming us up with some honest garage rock. However there's a line you can cross when it comes to playing not tight at all until it becomes quite embarrassing. Whether they were in a coffee shop for too long I don't know, but all it warms up are my jaws from laughing. I hope they found a couch to crash on in the end.

If you really want to see how the game is played, King Khan will show you the way. Dressed in a leopard print shirt and wearing an insane headdress with huge feathers, he can scream like James Brown and rock it out like there's no tomorrow. He's always fully backed by his band, who are joining him in similar crazy stage antics. The horns section are all wearing a flashy cape and the keyboard player picks up his keyboard several times as if it's a portable one. "Mr. Speedfinger's" guitar is screaming while he's going through all the rock poses and moves known to mankind. The only one who is staying cool all the time is drummer "John Boy Adonis". Needless to say this show is turning into a wild party.

After the first part of the set, a short break follows. Of course Khan has to change, so we have to wait for a few minutes. When he returns he's only dressed in a long cape, some small shorts and a big black whig, showing off his chubby belly. Especially in the soulful songs, Khan is showing that he's a pretty good singer. His voice is a bit rough and quite powerful. The Shrines, despite all the slapstick, are a tight band, playing swinging grooves. Therefore the performance never gets cheesy or too corny. Combined with all the craziness, energy and a lot of heart from everyone on stage, I can see why King Khan's shows are legendary and definitely a must see.

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