2016 marks 20 years since Kula Shaker exploded into the UK Britpop scene with their million selling debut album K. Their brand of rock with an esoteric mix of psychedelic riffs and ideas, full of Eastern mysticism and full-tilt performances made them the most unique (often termed eccentric) of the Brit Pop bands in the Nineties.
So far this year has seen the band back performing and every review of their live shows today, still revere their energy and intense live performances as witnessed at the Roundhouse earlier this year and subsequent dates. “Govinda” sung entirely in Sanskrit and the only Sanskrit top 10 UK single ever, is still chanted by the crowds that attend the shows. “Tattva”, “Hey Dude”, through to the hit single “Hush” are all explosive tunes binding everyone in anarchic pogoing unity as the years fall away.
Kula Shaker are the great heretics of British psych-rock, named after a ninth century Indian emperor. Currently they comprise original members and the ever youthful Crispian Mills (vocals / guitars) / Alonza Bevan (bass) / Paul Winterhart (drums) and newer addition, Harry Broadbent (keyboards)
Reminiscing, the band reflected on the K era; “I’ve got some good memories of that first run of success,” says Crispian with a smile… “We played TFI Friday with Arthur Brown. He set his head on fire and shouted ‘Don’t Panic, It’s Just the End of the World’ in front of millions of viewers. At that point, I thought we’d done something useful with our time at the top.”
“To be honest, I can’t remember much about it all,” adds bassist Alonza Bevan, “But it was great to be a part of something that had such a reach and that genuinely affected people. It was also nice to get an ancient Indian hymn on Radio 1 in the UK. I can’t see that happening now.”
“When we’re all playing together in a room, nothing beats it,” says drummer Paul Winter-Hart, recalling sweaty pre-recording rehearsals in Westbourne Grove.
Thu 01 Dec 2016 Oxford O2 Academy*
Fri 02 Dec 2016 Bournemouth O2 Academy*
Mon 05 Dec 2016 Norwich The Nick Rayns LCR, UEA
Tue 06 Dec 2016 Guildford G Live
Thu 08 Dec 2016 London O2 Forum Kentish Town*
Sat 10 Dec 2016 Manchester Albert Hall
Mon 12 Dec 2016 Birmingham O2 Institute*
Tue 13 Dec 2016 Bristol O2 Academy*
Wed 14 Dec 2016 Liverpool O2 Academy*
Fri 16 Dec 2016 Newcastle O2 Academy*