The Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh
In 1996 I had just turn’d up at Barnsley College to start a degree course in Popular Music Studies. I’d also taken a couple of sheets of acid along, which was all perfectly set off by Kula Shaker’s recently releas’d & phenomenally good album K. Then it was magic mushroom season & I totally fell in love with the album, A quarter century later that same album is as good as ever, & last night I was having a reyt ol’ time to some of its classics, along with others from the band’s heavenly, esoteric & organic era-defining oeuvre.
The above video is from the lads last month, with my punter-venue being the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh, & was so heaving I could only garner half an occasional glimpse of the band in action from a upper wing of the venue. Still I was well buzzing, like, & carried on regardless, buzzing off the vibes & the music. Opening with Hey Dude & ending with Govinda, & all those other bangers in between, it was an absolute joy to be there. Crispian Mills is the George Harrison of Britpop, not afraid to chuck in a Clapton’s Crossroads riff either, floating effortlessly over the best bass player in Britain, I’ve often thought, Alonza Bevan. The next crucial pillar of the band is their yeti-shaggy organist, Jay Darlington – the drummer’s funky n’all – honest to god, reyt band!
Since the 90s, I don’t think I’ve experienced a band that comes anywhere near to the Shaker’s elegant & powerful rock, so it’s a real pleasure to see them in mood for hanging up their sticks & straps – nah, keep going lads, & lets get you out into the summery festival meadows, playing to thousands, which is the source spring of your true alchemy. Meanwhile, I’ve been reyt inspir’d to get ma fuckin’ gee-tah out & get busy on the fretfield!
Words: Damian Beeson Bullen
Photography: Al Roberts