New Orleans, Louisiana, (October 9, 2018) A solid crowd of music and mayhem lovers turned out for a spectacular show at One Eyed Jacks in NOLA tonight to see a King, a group of Aussies and some Germans play musical stylings of pop, rock, and a funk/pop/punk rock mashup.
Opening act Redondo Beat, a four- piece band from Germany, played original tunes that had a definitive throwback feel. With a distinctive pop flavor of the 60s, the band opened with “I’m a Believer”, an excellent choice that immediately saw the audience move forward towards the stage. Many of their songs tell tales of broken hearts and new loves, without sounding overly saccharin or overly simple.
Lead singer Roman Aul notes his influences run from the Brill Building songwriters to similar Doo Wop girl groups, California 60s sounds and surf music. Their fifth song sounded like a current interpretation of Paul Revere & The Raiders “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone”, but with more modern guitar riffs. Though no longer in their teens, the band ended the set with a piece about “hitchhiking as a teenager in Germany”.
Touted as “Australia’s sweetheart”, Gabriella Cohen and bandmates, up second, let the audience know they were there to “Cheer you up!” and started the set off with a bluesy number. Cohen has a clear but far away sounding voice, thanks to some effects and bandmate Kate ‘Baby shakes’ Dillon took the sound to another level with her ethereal backup vocals and harmonies.
The band is super tight, no easy feat with so many starts and stops in their songs. Though a great many of their songs have a soulful bluesy feel, there is a similar harken back to the 60s, which makes sense in pairing her with the main act King Khan. “Music Machine” had each band member grooving in their own way, with some subtle footwork added when the music struck them, making it a highlight of their set.
Picking a highlight of King Khan and the Shrines is almost impossible. This is a 10, sometimes 11-piece band, depending on who picks up a percussion instrument and joins in the mayhem. Led by the charismatic King Khan, this group brings high energy and hijinks to every number, from start to finish. Playing with the audience, sharing fond memories as a young punk rocker in Montreal, QC, Khan held the audience captive with his antics, his tall tales, and his outrageous outfits. Who doesn’t appreciate a bandleader with costume changes?
Not to be outdone, Khan’s band of merry men took audience interaction seriously – crowd surfing,
bringing instruments out to the floor, mugging for photographers and showing off with the occasional handstand, this group brought the funk and the fun. Comprised of three horns, keys, drums, percussion, guitars and bass, this band is a mix of pop, punk rock, surf rock, and old-school funk. It works, mostly because the musicians are well-seasoned and because their fearless leader is just that – fearless. It takes a strong individual to stand in front a room full of strangers night after night in a pair of spandex short shorts covered in sparkly sequins, a feathered headdress and not much else.
The audience were on their feet the entire set, dancing and thrashing along with Khan and the Shrines and eagerly welcomed the band back for a three-song encore that ended with a walk through the crowd, a procession fitting for a King. Two of the Shrines, horn players, played out the last song standing on the central bar, making it both an audio and visual memory for all attendees.
If you have friends on this trio’s tour route, tell them to get tickets now – this is not a show to pass up!
In 1999 King Khan, Aquarius and founder of the greatest cult phenomenon since the parting of the Milky Way, decides to put together a musical shrine. The 8-piece band called The Shrines are assembled and together with Khan begin spreading their hypersexual gospel around the world, stunning Krauts and becoming notorious for being one of the most entertaining groups since the days of Ike & Tina.Dressed in their ceremonial duds, King Khan and the Shrines, are more than just a psychedelic soul revue, imagine Roky Erickson backed by the Sun Ra Arkestra or Wilson Pickett leading The Velvet Underground, wearing a golden cape that wraps around the world, a Bollywood James Brown reading his self- made tarot cards (WHO DOES THAT!?).As the love child of Anubis and Kali, King Khan & The Shrines have pillaged countless stages around the world and are known to frequently drive audiences into a sweaty orgy. If musical salvation is what you need, if your soul is searching for true absolution, look no further….Let King Khan & The Shrines come into your mind, body and soul to heal your every hurt.
Photographer: Kristen Derr
Journalist: Meaghan Clark