Psychedelic funk and soul band Khruangbin rock out at The Roundhouse
Khruangbin are already making waves on the music scene since releasing their second album Con Todo El Mundo earlier this year. So, after four years of following Khruangbin, since hearing ‘People Everywhere (Still Alive)’ from their debut album in 2015 The Universe Smile Upon You, we finally got the chance to see them perform at one of our favourite London venues - The Roundhouse in Camden. The band were supported by Laura Misch with her saxophone and chilled jazz tracks, sadly we only caught the end of her set but I’m sure we will have plenty of opportunities to see the rising star over the next year…
Khruangbin pulled in a diverse audience of fans and music lovers thanks to their interesting compositions, unique style, and instrumental technique as soloists. There isn’t really anyone prominent doing what Khruangbin are doing in the groove scene right now. The band are able to captivate an audience with their (mostly) instrumental music, a psychedelic funk sound which you can’t help but imagine losing yourself to on a far away tropical island, particularly with Mark Speer’s mellow and warm twangy guitar style (Kevin Parker might have some competition here). This chilled out summery feel is credited as being influenced by 60s Thai funk, something we are very intrigued to discover more about. You can checkout some of the band’s favourite tracks in a number of their Artist Playlists on Spotify - I am particularly fond of their Flight 526 to Lagos playlist.
Laura Lee got the crowd going with her deep and funky basslines, particularly for one of our favourite tracks, ‘Evan Find The Third Room’, as well as ‘People Everywhere (Still Alive)’ which they of course closed the set with. Drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson also got an opportunity to show off his skills on keys, with a delicate piano solo to kick off the encore of ‘White Gloves’.
When Khruangbin launched into a covers medley of funk/soul tracks and hip hop samples, you appreciated the quality of the artists playing on stage. This medley was not a couple of by the numbers covers, this was a trip through some of our favourite music and showed off the bands ability to do any cover justice, keeping each song uniquely stylised. There were nine different tracks that catered to the entire crowd, a mixture of ages, playing ‘The Next Episode’ by Dr. Dre through to ‘Summer Madness’ by Kool & The Gang (also sampled in DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's ‘Summertime’). They also threw back to ‘It Was A Good Day’ by Ice Cube and ‘Searching’ by Roy Ayers - the group have great taste and switched these tracks up smoothly to fit their chilled and psychedelic funk sound.
The whole gig was a wonderful experience, it was easy to get lost in the band’s music and they both looked and sounded like proper rock stars. The final track (before the encore), ‘Maria También’, went into ‘Apache’ in the style of The Incredible Bongo Band - safe to say the Fresh Prince of Bel Air dance was poppin’ off all over the place. The crowd were fully on board all night, with a huge applause before the encore (which went on for ages), to the point where the people up top were banging their feet and doing a mexican wave - a lot of love and appreciation in those glorious gallery’s of The Roundhouse. There is always such a magnificent sound and atmosphere in that venue! I’d imagine that Khruangbin will also be playing a lot of the festival circuit next year, especially if this gig was anything to go by, touring and performing to their ever growing fanbase. If you get the chance to see Khruangbin, jump on those tickets sharpish…