King Khan and The Shrines: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – live review
Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
18 April, 2014
King Khan came, saw and conquered Leeds with a jaw dropping, genre-hopping performance. Lee Hammond has his mind truly blown by the King.
Arriving on this beautiful evening we arrive at the the world famous Brudenell Social Club. This evening’s support act, The Wub, take to the stage fairly early, my first time hearing anything by these guys. Initially they start out with some pretty heavy punk jams before settling in to some equally heavy bluesy tracks.
All in all The Wub serve their purpose although this crowd don’t require a great deal of warming up. By the end of their short set, though, everyone is up and dancing and certainly in the mood. There was only one small issue, no band on earth could suitably warm a crowd up for the musical genius that is King Khan.
Bursting on to stage in full costume, huge headpiece, leopard print robe and one massive personality he makes his entrance to rapturous applause with the crowd almost falling at his feet and from the off it’s set to be an incredible evening. The atmosphere’s electric and there isn’t one person in the building who’s able to keep still.
There are many bands with huge front men – Les Savy Fav and Fucked Up, for example, and whilst Tim and Pink Eye are particularly active, the rest tend to remain fairly stationary. Not The Shrines, though, who are full of energy with choreographed dance moves and frequent ventures into the crowd.
The band switch genres with almost every song, exploring the realms of funk, soul, blues and rock and roll. King Khan is like the child of B.B. King and James Brown (if that were ever possible), he has an amazing soul voice coupled with some awesome guitar playing. He effortlessly works the crowd into a frenzy so that there’s not a dry body left in the house.
With songs from across his back catalogue including the crazy Pickin’ Up The Trash, King Khan really shows off his presence and delivery and you can’t help but move. Nevertheless, there’s the odd sombre moment including the dedication of So Wild to the deceased Jay Reatard.
Through the amazing walls of sound there are some incredible slow jams like Shivers Down My Spine. During these songs King Khan holds the crowd in the palm of his hand, serenading them with the craziest lyrics and sound effects. As the band re-enter for the encore a number of the men in the crowd seem to have lost their clothes and so has King Khan, who is now sporting a small pair of pants and a cape.
The band continues with another five tracks, the highlight being Luckiest Guy, which is accompanied by stage invasions, stage dives and general chaos that would only befit a show of this kind. This evening is a real treat for all involved, the band are on fire and King Khan is truly one of a kind, I’d urge anyone to check him out live.
All words and pictures by Lee Hammond whose Louder Than War archive can be found here.