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Universecity, 39A Clarges Mews, Monday 5th-Sunday 11th January

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What do you get if you cross a tubby voodoo stick-waving Indian man with some of the finest soul-tastic sounds of the 70s? The answer is Canada’s answer to Har Mar Superstar. (Whatever happened to him?) It’s about time we met another man of questionable aesthetic qualities, more about this but with enough vim and vigour to carry off his own self-invented sex god status.

We arrived at the Hoxton Bar and Grill, that odd black box of a venue that once boasted a small independent cinema (how I still mourn it’s loss), in time to catch the end of local London band Let’s Wrestle. They had trouble moving anyone even remotely close to the stage except me (never one to be put off by being the sole nutter on the dancefloor), despite the danceable mix of scuzzy guitars and bouncy melodies backed by frenetic drumming.



The geeky bespectacled singer retaliated to the general ennui of the room by pouring himself wine on stage as the seated boys and girls perched self-consciously like wallflowers on the benches.


There was no sign of any imminent life in these Sunday night gig-goers yet… but that was all about to change.


Announced by a three strong all-dancing brass section of men in matching black shirts and brash tooth necklaces, King Khan himself arrived in a swish of white suit and over-sized plastic prawn adornments, waggling his big skull on a stick.


Launching into an enthusiastic pastiche of psychedelic soul he was soon leaping into the ecstatic audience, leaving me laughing amusedly to myself as I snapped him weaving his way through the crowd; which was an odd mix of self-conscious faux-50s gals and flat-cap wearing Hoxton boys.



This I was not expecting! In between tunes the King regaled us with some nonsense about Indian men sticking their feet up vaginas, cackling against tootling trumpets like a maniacal voodoo priest, before once again launching into some side-stepping foot-stompin’ choreographed dance moves against a backdrop of suitably cheesy organ.

The entire set was without doubt a hammy send up of a whole genre of crotch waving lover-man antics but King Khan and The Shrines have somehow managed to attract a trendy crowd who reacted with unashamed abandon to such joie de vivre.




That this concept works is testament not only to the love that King Khan and his merry band have so obviously put into creating their over-the-top show, but also to the tight musicianship that this crew of indeterminate age have clearly learnt over many years on the gigging circuit, evident in all their puff-chested glory.




A highly recommended live show – make sure you catch them next time they are back in town. Thankyou for dragging me along Tom!


Feeling uninspired, approved cold, order and emotionally vacant? Banish those January blues and grasp a hold of some motivation by heading along to a workshop at The Temporary School of Thought. A week of talks, film-screenings, and practical and creative fun starts today. There’s lots on offer but here are a few that took my fancy…

Tree House Training and Building (Wednesday 7th at 3pm and Thursday 8th in Green Park at 3pm).
Finally fulfil that new years resolution circa 1990 and learn to build your own tree house.

Courier Talk: No Fixed Ideas (Tuesday 6th at 6pm)
Thinking of changing your career path? Learn more about the realities of bicycle couriering, you may be tempted to become one yourself.

Bicycle Maintaince (Tuesday 6th at 2pm and Friday 9th at 12pm)
Save money and keep safe by learning to take care of your wheels.

Make sure you’re in the know by attending these discussions on climate change.
Biofuels: Exacerbating Climate Change (Tuesday 6th at 6pm)
Peak Oil/ Economic Collapse (Saturday 10th at 3pm)

Oh and no pennies need be spared-it’s all free.
The Temporary School of Thought at Universecity, 39A Clarges Mews, Mayfair.


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