Live Music + Gig Reviews

Kosheen @ KOKO, London

18 September 2007

Back with their long-awaited third album, Damage, Bristol’s electro-drum’n’bass trio are back and, having not attracted much attention ahead of its release, are touring through the UK and Europe till the end of the year. Judging by a pretty packed out Koko, there’s still enough interest out there to make them viable.

The setlist comprised of a good mix of their three albums, with most of the singles getting an airing. However, the band began with a clutch of tracks from the new album, showcasing they still have a knack at creating hook-laden, emotional electro tunes. Moody title track Damage, recent single Overkill and Chances, another stand-out track from the album all set a high standard for the night.

If you’re a fan of Sian Evans’s voice, then she recreates its quality beautifully live. A superb frontwoman, she knew that the crowd was there to support the band, and she was all too happy to connect and chat with us. Her speaking voice is a soothing, soft South Wales accent, but when she sings she certainly has the range and confidence to not only belt out her vocals, but to test and alter the vocals a bit, creating slightly new different perspectives on old melodies.

As the band made their way through that back catalogue, the likes of Empty Skies, Hide U and a phenomenal Hungry reminded their (by now manically dancing) audience of how many good singles they’ve put out. For a band known for their drum’n’bass stylings, the drumming on the likes of Hungry and (Slip and Slide) Suicide was superb. They also threw in a reward to the fans in the form of Dangerous Waters, a single released in 1999 before they joined Moksha Records. If there was one criticism to be made, it was that their breakbeats could do with some beefing up to stop them sounding lightweight and perhaps reminiscent of the backing on Babylon Zoo‘s Spaceman.

They chose well from the new album with Sian demonstrating some, let’s say interesting, dance moves on Same Ground Again, and showcasing the brilliant, epic Wish You Were Here. Difficult second album Kokopelli was largely ignored, although those who were there wouldn’t have forgiven them if they hadn’t played a rousing All In My Head. By the time Catch ended proceedings, the crowd was uncontainable.

It was obvious that Sian was truly grateful to the fans and their support. She was charming and humble all night. If Kosheen are your bag at all, then try to get to a gig because even those songs that are so-so on record really come to life live.

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More on Kosheen
Kosheen – Independence
Kosheen @ KOKO, London
Kosheen – Damage