Interviewed by The Stevie Lav Show (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
Video by Robert Boulton
The below review is based on the live perofmrnace of The Kyle Gass Band at The Underworld, London, England on May 1, 2015
“Was anybody recording? Send that to the Rock History Museum!”
Too often rock gigs are a little too pre-occupied with fist-pumping, devil horn-raising intensity that they forget to serve up some fun; this is certainly not something the Kyle Gass Band can be accused of. From the moment the five piece stepped onstage, they immediately began to ignite the cold London crowd (there was no warm-up acts). Immediately, Kyle Gass’ experience as an entertainer is apparent as he took command of both the stage and the crowd. However, to assume that the KGB (the band, not the now-defunct Russian secret police) is a one-man show would be an injustice to this incredibly talented band.
‘Filling the gaps’ between Tenacious D commitments, the KGB is anything but a lukewarm side-project. Mike Bray’s powerful vocals and electrifying stage presence delighted the relatively small crowd. Given that the KGB’s debut album had only been released in the UK less than a fortnight before the show, whipping the crowd into such an euphoric frenzy was no mean feat, yet one that Bray and the rest of the band succeeded spectacularly in. After a quarter of an hour, which seemingly transformed the crowd from relatively interested bystanders into diehard fans, Gass appreciatively claimed that this was “least attended but best” audience they had yet played to.
The band’s stagecraft was simple yet sublime. With costumes, crowd interactions and a vast array of instruments which included an insane double flute solo by Gass (which really had to be seen to be believed), the KGB managed to conjure more gasps and smiles than most other bands manage with a stadium full of fireworks and fancy.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the fun Gass and his cohorts deliver means that fans are shortchanged on the music, the KGB’s setlist ignites, delights and surprises at every turn. In this robust and varied gig, each member of the band gets to shine: Gass’ entertaining showmanship captivates all night; Bray’s rousing vocals consistently hit home; Tenacious D’s John Konesky offers an enchanting character performance on Gypsy Scroll (in addition to his polished guitar riffs throughout the evening); bassist Jason Keene steals the spotlight with a groovy harmonica solo and, in the most surprising moment of the night, drummer Tim Spier’s takes a turn centre-stage, dancing and singing his way through some Michael Jackson numbers and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme tune, which had everyone in the room singing in unison about that time their “life got flipped; turned upside down”. Plainly put, this show was a masterclass from beginning to end by five men who were evidently relishing every second of their performance.
The evening was complete with selfies, meet and greets, beers and a smashing rendition of “The Boys Are Back In Town”. As the fans filed out of the Camden Underworld, it was clear that when the band sang “Our Job is to Rock”, they certainly weren’t lying- and they’re damn good at it too!
Miss the KGB gig in Camden? Be sure to catch them when they return (twice) later this year. Keep an eye on www.thekylegassband.com for details.