I’m going to tell you just one of my many dark secrets. I've always kind of wanted to be a go-go girl. You know short sexy skirts, high-heeled boots and a Barbarella wig. Throw in a pair gold lamé pompoms and bam! I can't think of anything sexier. My fantasy just might become reality if King Khan and the Shrines pass through Italy on their next European tour. The pompoms are an essential part of the show but King Kahn himself is the definition of essence with a capital E. The Montreal native has been dedicated to the serious cause of keeping psychedelic soul alive and kicking since he was 17. The group was formed in 2004 thanks to King Kahn frequenting hole-in-the-wall establishments and music dives. He managed to hand pick his international musical disciples, The Shrines, while travelling Europe far and wide.
The Shrines are a ten-member group with an impressive big band sound: You’ve got your trumpet, your Hammond, you’ve got your sax, percussion and then you have King Kahn, a reincarnation of Sam & Dave, James Brown, and and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins all rolled up into one. He eats, sleeps and lives this music. It's impossible not to hear. Kahn and The Shrines pull it off and have a great time doing it. This is even more evident when you see them live in concert, or even on YouTube. Fun is an understatement.
Kahn’s stage presence is massive and outrageous like his zoot suits, sabre-tooth necklaces and occasional flashy head gear. Half of the time he's barely wearing anything. He woos you with his voice as the Shrines blow you away with their powerful sound. The girl with the pompoms keeps the beat. There's nothing flash-in-the-pan about their performance. It's pure energy.
Vice Records understood the validity of the group and in 2008 released The Supreme Genius of King Khan and The Shrines. It's a 16- track testimony to the group's evolution. The CD is a phenomenal collection of music. Good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll dancehall blues. Retro rockabilly has never ever sounded so good. King Kahn sings his heart out. The Hammond and the horns strut their stuff. If I could, I would post all 16-tracks, but it's up to you to do your own exploring. If you love and respect music you won't be let down. Have a listen to "No Regrets" with its distinct echoes of the Velvet Underground . That big band in-your-face beat in "Land of the Freak" and "I Wanna be a Girl". The groovy Rascals' sounding "Welfare Bread". This CD is so hot that seeing them live would truly be a supreme event, and that, my dear friends, is what I'm waiting for.
In the meantime I've got my go-go moves down to a T, awaiting the day to take to the stage beside his royal highness of soul King Kahn, whenever that may be.
Karin Andrea Halliwell
Artists permanently (and randomly) "on air" at present date:
King Khan and The Shrines (Canada), Edda(Italy), LCD Soundsystem (USA), Replace The Battery(Italy), The Drums(USA), Fauve! Genen a Rhino (Italy), Maika Makovski (Spain), DID (Italy), Massimo Volume (Italy), Senpai (Italy), Dude Plays Saxophone (USA), Toundra (Spain), Maxena Tace (Italy),Sawako (Japan), The Cleopatras (Italy), Hollowblue (Italy), OPA (USA), Nora Keyes (USA), Simona Gretchen(Italy), Facciascura (Italy), hiiragi fukuda (Japan), Stardog(Italy), I Got A Violet(Italy), The Agrarians (USA); Feldmaus (Russia); Red Velvet (Italy - France); Eigenheimer (Holland); Drugs Made Me Smarter (Mexico); Kelvin & Speedy Peones (Italy); Tidy Kid (USA); NIMM (Italy); MorningPaper (Italy), Edgar Graves (Czech Republic), Marshmallow (Croatia), David Morley (England/Belgium); Bancale (Italy); Antony Raijekov (Bulgary); Amélie (Italy); Celestial Aeon Project (Finland); Channel in Channel out (USA); Madrigali Magri (Italy), Gimme 'hat Moonshine (Belgium), Krakenti (Latvia), Wheelchair Discotheque (Latvia), TheOneOnTheIsland (Slovakia), Maok (Slovakia), LaBon (Slovakia), Jordan Jordan (Slovakia), Social Society (Slovakia), Batte (Norway), Orange Crush (Norway), Oriental Music System (Hong Kong), Iamsum (Hong Kong), Rex Cody (Hong Kong), Donkey Valium (Hong Kong), Smiling Buddhas (Hong Kong), O-M (Hong Kong), Hvoya (Ukraine), Automatic Pilot Required (Brazil), Yogi (Brazil), Light Merchants (South Africa), The Slowmovies (Italy); I am this (USA); Kråkvind (Sweden); Planet Brain (Italy); Lebatol (UK); Sarah Schuster (Italy); Krt 963 (Italy-Japan); Flap (Italy); Nicker Hill Orchestra (Italy); Menrovescio (Italy); Annabel (USA); Karmatest (Italy); The Dada Weatherman (France); Diablo Swing Orchestra (Sweden); Japanese gum (Italy); Above the tree (Italy); Volcano Playground (Canada); Linz (Italy); Anomie Belle (USA), Christophe Marc (France), Death Valley Sleepers (Denmark), Jeremy Sparrow (Denmark), Zoon van snooK (England), Systemton (Germany), Matti Bye (Sweden), Manuzik (Japan), Chances (Italy), Hometaping (Great Britain...?), Ping (Norway), Frey (New Zealand), Manhan (Japan), One Chef (Sweden), Mijagi (Poland), Pandacetamol (Scotland), Lu-Sin (Argentina), Thomas Solgaard (Denmark), Wonderboy (France), Los Hermanos Butaca (Argentina), La Biyuya (Argentina), Negro Fluo (Argentina), Sempai (Italy), Riccardo Vianello (Italy), Wolther goes stranger (Italy), Eildentroeilfuorieilbox84 (Italy), Buzz Aldrin (Italy), Stefano Roveda (Italy), Rosso! (Italy); manzOni (Italy).