Formed from the ashes of their old band, Spaceshits, Montreal’s The King Khan and BBQ Show have been rocking garage punk since 2004. Both guys do double duty. BBQ playing drums with his feet like a one man band, while King Khan plays guitar and sings doo wop bass lines, when he isn’t singing lead. I’m also a fan of King Khan’s soul band, the Shrines.
The geniuses behind Waddlin’ Around have played everywhere, including a kick ass session on KEXP. Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson personally invited the boys to play the Vivid Festival. (If that isn’t bragging rights, I don’t know what is.)
Tagging along were NYC’s Miranda and the Beat, who joined the headliner onstage during the dance off segment of their show. Ain’t nothing but a party.
Miranda and The Beat kicked off the proceedings right. Miranda shreds a little harder than one would expect from a singer. She could play lead guitar in a band. Wearing only a mesh shirt under her suit jacket, her nipples played peek-a-poo, making this the most nipple centric show I’ve ever seen. (More on that later.) Very burlesque-esque.
The Beat’s rhythm section was tight and tasteful and the whole band had a cool aesthetic.
Their keyboard player was a little much for me at first, with his white boy ‘fro and late sixties garb. But later, I got a whiff of his cologne as he walked by. Now, that is commitment to a look. I’ll allow it. All in all, their set was a good time.
If there is one thing to know about King Khan, it’s that he doesn’t give a fuck. The body positive rocker went topless, wearing some kind of animal skins on his head and groin area, nipples flowing in the breeze.
Freeing the nipple is a trademark of the boys’ show. BBQ had nipple holes cut out of his shirt, sporting a look I like to call the anti-paiste.
These guys love to talk between songs. Even BBQ Show made fun of their endless banter, comparing their show to a Henry Rollins spoken word set. You can tell that they are both usually the guy who does all the talking in their other bands. Between songs, there were flashes of mutual annoyance like two youngest children competing for attention, as they both jockeyed for the spotlight. But while they played together there was nothing but love, baby. L-U-V.
Most of their chit chat was hilarious, the highlight being about the song that made their publicist drop them. The lyrics involved their wanting to have taste buds on their genitalia and buttholes, to savor every taste. I hope the door didn’t hit the publicist on the way out. My buddy Chip was there, and he agrees. Chip may not play instruments, but he knows bad management when he sees it.
Some kid staged dived and the audience dropped him, just like they did to the singer from Viagra Boys when I saw them at Underground Arts.
King Khan was amused. “That’s what we love about Philly. They drop you, but then they pick you up again.”
There is a metaphor in there somewhere.
Their cover of the 1978 Johnny Thunders classic, “You can’t Wrap Your Arms Around a Memory” had me singing, to the disappointment of everyone around me including Chip, who stood a couple people away for a while.
The boys brought the bartender on stage for everyone to applaud. To a novice, that might seem like a cheap ploy to get into her pants. But judging the size of their bellies, I’d say it was a cheap ploy to get free drinks. Respect.
Make sure you check both these bands out next time they come to a venue near you. And don’t forget to tip your bartender.