Thursday, 7 May 2009
BLK JKS in Stokey
I can't believe Eva-Jane and I were going to live in Stoke Newington (or Stokey), glad we just got the T-Shirt and nowt else, it may be up and coming but it's still pikey as fuck and can't beat Bowes Park.
We were there to see our shared favourite band, who were playing Bardens Boudoir, the legendary and beautiful BLK JKS, who I blogged about not too long ago and we had the pleasure of seeing at Cargo in the Summer of 08. The Telegraph have a fine piece here on them, that captures some of their elements.
They are a fine live band, on record their lengthy work-outs are powerful and compelling but live, they have a more visceral edge, reminds me of The Mars Volta, in that performing live, they have the ability to communicate their musical narratives far better than on vinyl; as if by actually being there the shared experience of what they make can be just that.
Molefi Makananise is on bass, standing sentry centre-stage, sometimes eye closed lost in the music, other times wiry and alive sharing grins with the drummer and complaining about people stealing his water.
Tshepang Ramoba is the flurry of arms, cheek and smiles that is the drummer, the wild one, pounding the kit into submission, show boating and intense at the same time; it sometimes feels like he is in charge of the band live: the heart. It is his massive drum work-outs that segue bits together and fill out gaps and it was Tshepang that decided when the gig was over, haughtily getting off his drum stool to barge past Molefi but not after twatting his fret board.
Lindani Buthelezi is the lead singer and guitarist, always looking a bit vulnerable and annoyed, blessed with a fine voice and riffs to die for he feels like the mind of the band, a creative tour-de-force who is at his best when lost in the music he and his brothers are making.
Finally there is Mpumi Mcata and if I have to have a favourite he is it, beautiful in a manly way, he lays down sonic soundscapes and if not standing, playing rhythm guitar with deadly efficiency, he is crouched down over the effects pedals, squeezing every last inch of noise from them, providing a wash of colour and depth to the offerings of the other band members. If Ramoba is a clattering ball of noise stage left, Mcata is the wash of sound stage right.
Eva and I got lost in their brilliant music and went home into the cool night air very, very happy indeed.