Kaki King
London ULU
17th May, 2008

View: centre standing, stage-right

While she’s not yet a household
name, she should be. Forget your
soporific 20-something jazz divas,
KK is a captivating stage presence
with more than just amusing
banter and good pipes – though
she has that in spades (as well as
a bottle of red). She’s a stunning
guitarist, swapping between
electric and acoustic throughout
her 17-song, 100-minute set,
and playing the living daylights out
of both on tracks from her three-album
catalogue, including latest,
Dreaming Of Revenge. While that
opus is less acoustic guitar
splendour as avant-garde
ambient, her stripped-down body-slapping
versions on the six-string
are blinding. Accompanied by Dan
Branigan on breath-control synth
(think a school melodica that
produces a Wakeman bank of
keys and a drummer), she
engages in kick-ass space-rock
(whale song, bleeps), drifting prog
instrumentalism, indie-rock and
acoustic gypsy/Latino dexterity that
would have Gordon Giltrap
grinning. Highlights include her
double-tapping Playing With Pink
Noise, vocal LoveStoned and
closing Jessica. But it’s her playing
on any number of cuts from debut
Until We Felt Red, along with her
synth backing, that captivates –
like Bjork meeting Malmsteen. If
you only see one show this
summer, it’s got to be Kaki.

Reviewed by Tim Jones
<< Back to Issue 352

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