King Khan & The Shrines bring some funky soul to The Scala, London
Call it psychedelic soul, rock 'n roll, soul, funk, whatever, King Khan & The Shrines have nailed their potion of booty-jigglin' sounds, and we here at Subba-Cultcha love it!
For any crazy human being who hasn't yet indulged in the wonders of the Berlin-based group King Khan & The Shrines, let me tell you something.... they are, simply wonderful. It's been many a year since the first seed was planted upon the world in the form of something Shrine-like; but they are still as fresh and thriving in passion, talent and groove. The awesome thing about this band has got to predominantly be their energy. Sometimes energy doesn't just display itself in a physical throws of limbs (although there is plenty of that), sometimes there is just so much more to it than that. For myself anyway, there is a certain kind of energy that only a hand full of bands around today have seemed to embody. This is the passionate beyond anything sort of energy, the genuine enjoyment of ones art, the unashamedly free-spirited natural expression of musicianship in all it's god damn glory! King Khan & The Shrines stand out, play classic styles of music
and combine a hugely unique sound to go with it all.
Counting eight members of King Khan's mighty band upon the romantically lit stage, you get a nice introduction to the band without King Khan initially. This seems to be a ritual of theirs each time they play; welcoming the main feather and leopard print clad man onto stage after a musical introduction. There is no doubt in my mind that the band are as tight as you can get. Each musician as naturally talented as the next, stretching from the three-piece brass section, to the super funky percussion coming from the back of the stage.
The classics seem to be each and every song; carrying you continuously through a cloud of psychedelic garage rock numbers. The howling vocals of Mr Khan soar through the air in the dome shaped Scala. Every booty in the house is a shakin' without fault. 'Born To Die' had the crowd in a frenzy which was bordering on a mosh pit of a kind, and 'Land Of The Freak' wavered its big God-like hand over the audience, alluring each foot to stamp out a groove to the beat.
So in case you haven't guessed, we here at Subba-Cultcha bloody love Mr Khan & his super Shrines; they evoke all that is good about the old styles of soul and funk and all in between, and they pour their moshable sound nuggets upon us fans standing in awe, being reminded that the world can be a beautiful place with genuine music like this. Can't wait to see them again!
All photos by Jo Wells