Kinky

Kinky Live at the Royal Festival Hall Review

Kinky are touted (by the Guardian at least) as producing the most danceable music in the world so to book them into an all-seater hall was always going to be an interesting proposition for the crowd. But with the RFA's reputation and interested audience it turned out to be a great choice for the band to showcase themselves to a cross section of the listening public as they attempt to break the UK after phenomenal success in the USA .

Picking up four Grammy's for their first album Kinky are visiting the UK to try and secure a follow up hit.

The new album has received much less favorable reviews than the first on the far side of the Atlantic at least the main criticism being that it lacks the cohesion of the first. This was evident at the RFH as what should have been a stunning show of power from a group of obviously wildly talented musicians failed to spark any real magic.

Music - Kinky  Live at the Royal Festival Hall review
Music - Kinky  Live at the Royal Festival Hall review

Kinky really are excellent musicians, each member dominating their instruments. They totally filled the RFH's excellent acoustic space with their powerful sound, they look great but somehow the whole thing

just wouldn't hold the attention. The new album includes more rock influences than the first all of which seem hackneyed and unimaginative, really bringing nothing to the already heady fusion that characterises their music.

The set was one power anthem after another, a relentless succession of engineered floor fillers designed to be played to a having room of ravers that seemed out of place in the more refined atmosphere of the RFH and gave no quarter to it. Kinky's songs seem to have one tempo, fast and lack a structure to draw you in before assaulting you their dance noise'. After a couple of tracks the set began to alienate me as it offered no way in, each track being yet another excellently executed but soulless noise explosion.

Watching the band play and move on stage is exhilarating and proves they are all wildly talented and gifted musicians but somehow they couldn't transfer this mastery of skill into an affecting product, the songs seem to be a distorted reflection of themselves. I could not understand how I could be watching what was a genuinely fascinating and inspiring physical performance yet hearing an uninspiring collection of songs that were never anything more than the some of their parts.

Only one or two occasions did they break out of this musical slog to produce something that was in some way controlled enough to deliver the passion obvious in their playing. Here I could see the magic of Kinky where there mix of musical styles gelled into something useful, soulful even when so much of their set went wide of the mark, losing itself in its influences a musical car crash.

So much potential but unrealised Kinky seem to need a firmer more controlled hand to guide their compositions and help them reach the audience in a way that captures their obvious enthusiasm without getting lost in translation.



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