King Khan and the Shrines - Stereo, Glasgow, Sun 4 Oct
Camp Motown funk madness
When a man takes to the stage sporting a leopard print jacket and a precarious headdress of ostrich-feathers, listen up. Not that tonight’s supports were mundane: local troublemakers Black Rat Death Squad thrashed and cussed like slack-jawed pop punkers on an Iggy death trip while French garage psychers Jack of Heart featured an audacious frontman with a look somewhere between a teenage Frank Zappa and Borat auditioning for membership of MGMT.
All is warm-up for King Khan aka Berlin-based Indo-Canadian Arish Khan and his Shrines, a seven-strong motley crew of organ-shakers, brass-tooters and nimble-fingered axemen, all decked out in black shirts and shark’s teeth necklaces. A cadre of campy shock troops who flit between hard garage rock, Motown-flavoured funk and way-out schlock, The Shrines are both an excellent band and captivating showmen, stepping in time with Khan, clambering on amp stacks and, on the brash percussion-heavy ‘I Wanna Be a Girl’, gyrating around the venue’s columns.
Khan himself stays clear of the antics that’ve seen him banned from clubs, but singing songs this tight and solid, with a voice recalling James Brown and even Little Richard, that’s delinquency enough.