Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Kula Shaker.
Remember them?

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
Smart Dogs
Start All Over
Hey Dude
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


Music for Songwriters said...

great stuff! thanks for sharing this one! keep it up!

Capt. Willard said...

Hi Roy,

Excuse the comment clutter...
Wanted to let you know that we were zapped by The Man, but were back with a new home. If you could update/include us in your links, it would be greatly appreciated.


All the best,

roy rocket said...

You got it, Cap.

Don't let 'em get to ya...

. said...

I was all over these guys when they first surfaced (and as I remember, the NME was too, in the beginning), and I thought the first album was the dog's bollocks. I listened to it again just now, and for me - what's the word? Meh?

So much of the music that had us thinking we were having the time of our lives back then - including Oasis and Blur - now seems ... just not that great anymore. Not crap, just not ... really ... worth listening to ... again ...

Who else? Dodgy? Remember Dodgy? Supergrass? The Boo Radleys? Ocean Colour Scene? the Charlatans? I spent HANDRIDS OF POWNDS, innit, on their stuff, fooling myself that pop/guitar/rock music was still evolving, still exciting. I wus wrong. These days, I listen to the music that inspired (uh ... "informed") these bands, which still sounds as unbelievably great as it did first time around. The usual culprits.

But anyway - where's that Bing Crosby?

roy rocket said...

It's a trip, ain't it?

To me, tracks like '303' do still capture those times, and do still remind me that I had a great time; I did; and yeah, I still like it; but I also like Mahler and Nurse With Wound, so really, it's all about set and setting.

I think live, Kula Shaker were a great band, Cem saw them several times at Tunbridge Wells Forum, and she still says they were one of the best live acts at that time.
And you certainly cannot compare Kula Shaker with Dodgy or Ocean Colour Scene... Cem also Dodgy, in the mud at the washed-out final Harvest Fair, they were not the highlight....

As for Bing.
Well as I said before, we are Bing-free; totally Bingless.
However, your enthusiasm is intriguing.
How about I give you a guest post so you can share your love of old rop-a-pom-pom with others...
E me:

Anonymous said...

What about that Oasis?

Eel said...

Nostalgia - I think it's probably more the case that it's not so more the music has changed rather it's YOU that's changed? Your tastes change as you mature.

roy rocket said...

I may be well pissed, but I'm sure I would have had to have read that comment four times to get it even if I wasn't.

I think your comment's aimed more at . than it is me. Is it?

Coz I still love it all; I ain't changed that much; and talking of 'coz': Slade, one of my first fanatical obsessions, I was only playing yesterday.

'that Oasis'?
Are you sure... why not... soon.

Uncle Dave said...

Living in Connecticut my whole life, I always saw UK music as a far away and prescient thing, as early as 1979, JD, into New Order, The Fall to Frankie's and so the '90's I loved Kula, Oasis, Ned's, Verve, Charlatans and Stone Roses... every month the next big thing was pulling itself up from the primordial ooze and smacking you right between the ears with something wierd and wonderous, tho' still familiar and comforting. This music still resonates and warms my heart, thanks for these posts, now I have to go dig out my Cornershop discs...