They're still doing it apparently.
Not that anyone would know it...
They seemed to come from nowhere back in 96; they were really hot, ubiquitous: steaming!
But they created a bit of a dead end for themselves.
What with all the incense burning; the Hindu iconography and their psychedelic boogie/Asian mix, they just couldn't go anywhere.
They'd turned themselves into Sadhus and then wondered why no one took too much interest when they suddenly appeared daubed in eye liner and looking rather like Green Day.
Crispian Mills also suffered from some very prejudicial music press.
He was never liked.
'Little Lord Fauntleroy' Noel Gallagher - who could speak or do no wrong in the eyes of the NME and the like at the time - dubbed him; and the press seemed to take real umbrage that he came from an established family of actors (John [granddad] & Hailey [mother]) and was so obviously bourgeois and not rock n roll.
They were out to get him.
And they did.
Claiming he was a Nazi because of his adoption of the swastika symbol - a Hindu symbol, of course - which is kind of weird, considering nobody accused Jordan or Siouxsie Sioux of being Nazis, despite their deliberate provocative use of the emotive icon....
What with all that going on, Kula Shaker were short lived (although now resurrected), and I consider them to be a one album band (although their most recent album, Pilgrims Progress, is apparently impressive [memo to self: must get a copy...]); and there's no doubt about it: their first album was really, really good.
Fortunately, this performance from early 97 is all about that first album; and it is a superb performance.
Here, they're really hot, as I said: steaming!
'303', what I think has to be their best song, has got something of the energy of The Gaye Bykers about it; Kula Shaker could really kick-ass boogie when they wanted to.
And they do a lot of that here.
And this is what the band should be remembered for.
Kula Shaker - Live at Aston Villa Leisure Centre, Birmingham, U.K. 27/1/97.
Baby You're a Rich Man
Knight on the Town
Grateful When You're Dead
Jerry Was There
(Raagy One) Waiting For Tomorrow
For This Love
Drop in the Sea
Start All Over
Hollow Man (parts 1 & 2)
Into the Deep
Govinda/I Feel Fine
Excellent rip from cassette captured FM recording @320kbs.
Originally broadcast live by BBC Radio 1.
Finger cymbals at the ready here