Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds – Oxford Arts Factory

Voodoo fuzz king Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds return to the Oxford Arts Factory with a night of New Orleans groovy beats and soul. Tonight they are supported by Kim Salmon and the New Scientists and the Med Heads.

The Med Heads

Newcastle based psych punk rock quintet, the Med Heads are a sight to behold and a bucketful to listen to. Psych hippy trippy tunes swirled through the OAF with a undertow of sinister riffs that would be comfortable coming from the Dead Kennedys. Tunes swished and sloshed all over the musical sphere, with some soft lulling into a stupor and then smashing you through a brick wall with blistering walls of guitar and thumping bass lines.

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Their animal of a drummer crashed through each tune, giving the feeling of an out of control train, but managing to keep everything on the rails.

Korg keyboards were subtly there for the first half of the set but then came into their own right for the rest of the set adding that psych feel to hard edged guitars.

There was psych, there was grunge, there was even a bit of Sabbath. But in the end everything was cemented into a screaming wall of MC5.

There was a whole bunch of psychadelic notes, tonight and I’m sure that the Brown Note was one of them.

Kim Salmon & The New Scientists

Kim Salmon strutted on, owning the stage in all his sartorial opulence of his hand pained salmon styled jacket. Behind him sauntered Boris Sujdovic​, and drummer Leanne Cowie as the New Scientists.

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They kicked off the set with some familiar old tunes and immediately won the crowd and ripped up the stage.

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Kim followed these up with some lesser known numbers, asking the growing crowd to bear with him through those uncharted waters and rewards will come. The journey continued and he took the crowd with him – all the way to the familiar strains of Swampland. The short set was soon over, as he finished off with a Beasts of Bourbon song.

Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds

The flamboyant spaceship that is Kid Congo and his three Pink Monkey Birds eerily ventured into the now packed OAF. Regaled in a flowing black spangled cape Kid Congo launched straight into voodoo showman mode and his monkey birds came right along with him.

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Tight as a drum the band cranked through the fuzzy, swampy, groove filled set with that dirty underlying menace that only they can deliver. From an unstoppable machine on drums to groovy bass lines on a modified 6 string guitar; and a garage surf guitar with maximum reverb. This was all topped off with the eccentric sounds from Kid Congo’s unique guitar style, spacey electronica noisemaker and spontaneous stories during song down times and equipment changes.

In no time at all, the guitarist was dripping sweat like a leaky tap, the drummer kept the beat like an unstoppable terminator and a bass player was bringing back the groove all the way to his funky flares.

They asked for plenty of crowd involvement, and there was plenty of howling, screaming and grooving as an enthusiastic response.

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The show wrapped up with an encore with guest appearance from Kim Salmon playing a couple of sultry songs & then a final encore, sending us all on home with a fantastic ethereal instrumental number ringing on in our ears.

Was there a Brown Note? I’m not sure, but after the Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds spaceship was gone there may have been abductees that didn’t ask for the anal probe.

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