Khruangbin – Alexandra Palace, London

“Following the joyous yet playful back end of the setlist, the band departed stage and then returned to a fitting encore of white gloves and people everywhere, and as the lights of the disco ball dimmed the Texans soaked up the adoring London crowd”

Khruangbin have had a huge impact since their debut album The Universe Smiles Upon You in 2015. Whilst experiencing a surge in popularity and adoring fan base they remain effortlessly cool both in their approach to music and aesthetic and are a true pleasure for the ears and eyes. What first struck me seeing the band live back in Bristol in 2016 was just how good their sound translates in a live context. This is not only testament to their ability as musicians, but more intriguing is the narrative they curate in their gigs that weaves through the funk infused groove of their muse to the downright surreal interludes that peppers their live sets. 

Having been lucky enough to see the band play in various venues and festivals over the years, a gig at Alexandra Palace was too good an opportunity to miss and this tour seemed like a culmination of the band’s achievements so far and was also curious about how the sound would lend itself having often seen them play in more intimate spaces. Kicking off proceedings were Secret Night Gang who were the evening’s support. The perfect start to the evening, the Manchester ensemble treated the crowd to all manner to treasures from the debut album such as The Sun and beautiful day.

Following this super performance, the lights deemed, and a giant disco ball flared up illuminating the stage, as the trio cut a striking presence and emerged to rapturous applause, but in typical fashion kept interaction to a minimum and let their music and style do the talking. They opened with the diffused glamour of first class, planting a flag for the rest of the set. As Donald Johnson’s rhythm carried through to the Lady and Man and Evan finds the third room the crowd were in for the treat. 

Next came the signature interlude where the band wove through a plethora of riffs including Bowie’s Let’s Dance, to the smoky twang of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game and the EastEnders theme tune a tongue in cheek node to their stop in the smoke. 

Following the joyous yet playful back end of the setlist, the band departed stage and then returned to a fitting encore of white gloves and people everywhere, and as the lights of the disco ball dimmed the Texans soaked up the adoring London crowd. The gig was the perfect fusion of the old with the new and I for one am excited to see where the Khruangbin flight lands next.

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