Kinky Live at the Royal Festival Hall Review
Kinky really are excellent musicians, each member dominating their instruments. They totally filled the RFH's excellent acoustic space with their powerful sound, they look great but somehow the whole thing
just wouldn't hold the attention. The new album includes more rock influences than the first all of which seem hackneyed and unimaginative, really bringing nothing to the already heady fusion that characterises their music.
The set was one power anthem after another, a relentless succession of engineered floor fillers designed to be played to a having room of ravers that seemed out of place in the more refined atmosphere of the RFH and gave no quarter to it. Kinky's songs seem to have one tempo, fast and lack a structure to draw you in before assaulting you their dance noise'. After a couple of tracks the set began to alienate me as it offered no way in, each track being yet another excellently executed but soulless noise explosion.
Watching the band play and move on stage is exhilarating and proves they are all wildly talented and gifted musicians but somehow they couldn't transfer this mastery of skill into an affecting product, the songs seem to be a distorted reflection of themselves. I could not understand how I could be watching what was a genuinely fascinating and inspiring physical performance yet hearing an uninspiring collection of songs that were never anything more than the some of their parts.
Only one or two occasions did they break out of this musical slog to produce something that was in some way controlled enough to deliver the passion obvious in their playing. Here I could see the magic of Kinky where there mix of musical styles gelled into something useful, soulful even when so much of their set went wide of the mark, losing itself in its influences a musical car crash.
So much potential but unrealised Kinky seem to need a firmer more controlled hand to guide their compositions and help them reach the audience in a way that captures their obvious enthusiasm without getting lost in translation.