Winners of Irelands ‘Best Live Act’, creative pioneers King Kong Company have gained a significant reputation for both their music and their live shows. Damian Robinson caught up with the band before their Newcastle Show.
Hi Kongers, you won an award last year as Ireland’s Best Live Act. What would you say are the key reasons for your consistently good live show?
We’re music and buzz lovers. We go to a lot of gigs and festivals and know what it means for people to put their hands in their pockets in order to fork out their hard earned foldables for a night out. When people go to the effort and expense of coming to a show, they deserve the best time that we can possibly give them. It’s what we want when we go to see a band play. We also want to have a good time when we’re playing, and our excitement and energy seems to translate to audiences and then they multiply it and feed it back to us.
We’ll see you in the North East of England in early November. What can we expect?
Our dancer and crowd fluffer, Box-Head, will light the fuse on a stick of dubby electro-rock that will blow the hinges off the most stubborn of inhibitions. Michael Caine often walks up to us after gigs and says “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”. Retinas, ears, feet and minds will all be at risk of frenzied orgasm.
How would you best describe yourselves to any of our readers who haven’t heard your music yet?
Our music could be described as dirty dubby electro-rock.
Visually, the band are pretty striking, clearly having an interest in a number of different artistic components outside of ‘just’ the music. What drives the desire to push so many different creative elements?
There are 12 of us in the King Kong Company family, only six of those are musicians, one is a dancer, one is a video artist, one is a lighting engineer and the rest twiddle knobs and create propaganda. The band started as a unhealthy mix of music and art students. That desire to cram a lot of different creative elements into what we do is probably driven by having some skills in lots of different areas and secondly because that side of things is also fun. Lofty creates the images and they can get a bit twisted at times, it being mushroom season, you should probably err on the side of moderation if you’re having a cup of mushroom tea before coming to a show.
Who do you see/look to for inspiration?
Our guitar player Aley is heading to see St. Vincent next week, a few of us are going to the Kurupt FM live show next month, we really got off on the Justice gig at Glastonbury this year, I caught Primus in London a few months ago, our keyboard player is still raving about the Duran Duran performance at another festival we were at. It’s a Bertie Basset type of buzz really, all sorts!
Finally, you have your own brand of beer. What’s your brewing secrets?
In a word, Buckfast. We launched a Buckfast infused beer earlier in the summer in conjunction with the boys from YellowBelly Beer. We wanted it to be something that would be ideal for festivals. We like Buckfast, our buddies at YellowBelly make beer, you don’t have to be a mathematician to work out what happened next. After Commotion Lotion (that was the name of our Buckfast infused beer) hit the shelves, we were contacted by Buckfast, they didn’t seem overly thrilled by our unholy union, but it was too late by then, it had all been drunk. It turned out to be very popular. We might make some more Commotion Lotion, but don’t tell the monks!
King Kong underground play Think Tank Underground on the 7th November. Tickets from £6.60