Somehow or other paths had never previously crossed for KULK and myself but I’d heard lots of good things about them and made my decision to see them at Annie Catwoman’s Sonic Youths showcase when I saw her at an NAC gig last week and she described them to me. Arriving just before 1pm I was chatting in the foyer with Outline colleague and NAC volunteer David and fellow photographer Gordon, who’d both seen Kulk before and agreed that they would be my thing, so my expectations were high.
The first name in a quality lineup introduced by Annie in the Mission Hall Bar though was that of Niamh, whom oddly enough I had seen just a couple of days earlier at Shane’s Shenanigans. This was another good opportunity to hear in an attentive environment these songs which are becoming more familiar to me. Niamh writes true stories of characters she has met, expressing with great compassion, tenderness, kindness, empathy and maturity and conveys her heartfelt words well with her lovely voice.
The room filled up considerably ahead of the set by a very youthful The Lanes who’d obviously invited a lot of friends. They played a confident, short set of guitar-led indie rock that went down very well with their legion of followers watching from the balcony.
And so to the headliners of this afternoon session, promoting their newly released EP “Jaded/Noise”, of course it was KULK. The duo are made up of Jade and Thom, who’d been sitting quietly enjoying all the other acts but when it came to their turn they transformed into a powerhouse of energy and noisy garage, alternative heavy rock. Not that it was instant. To begin with they lit the touchpaper, Thom sat in front of the drum kit slowly playing guitar before the whole thing exploded with raw power. Thom is a bundle of blistering energy, channeling some old school, old soul rock and roll spirit. It was a breath of fresh air! There’s elements here of The White Stripes, The Melvins (in Norwich on Wednesday!), The Stooges (there was even a snatch of I Wanna Be Your Dog) and our own BK & Dad and particularly The Glitchers. The songs aren’t introduced as such, much of the vocals are indecipherable as they are barked and screamed but it’s all about the energy and intensity. Thom is a blur of black clothes and dyed bluey-grey hair as he leaps, jumps and spins his guitar and Jade is equally animated on drums with her blonde hair also a blur. There’s something about these two that remind me of Ida Mae’s Chris and Steph, not musically so much as their inner confidence and the way they know exactly what they are doing and their obvious passion for the music. It’s really good to see and they just have that certain something that makes it exciting. It’s raw, powerful, visceral and energising. Compelling stuff and a set that I could only see in a black and white, retro photographic style. They even have little attentions to detail that I loved a lot, like the white coiled guitar lead and the white flowers on the drums, a tidy stage of just kit and amps that looks cool and makes them even more inspiring to photograph. No plastic bags here. KULK are a band I’ll look out for. They have it in abundance. Whilst keeping it real and pure I feel they also have a clear vision of their aesthetic and sound. KULK are an exciting prospect. You can purchase their music at Bandcamp.
Big thanks to Annie at Sonic Youths and NAC and all the acts. Great talents and the future of music all on a Saturday afternoon.
In the evening I ventured out again but was flagging a bit and Cave-In although undoubtedly brilliant was proving a bit too busy for me in my tired state and I left early to do some more Night Time Norwich photos and then a rare early-ish night. It’s good though that the word is clearly getting out about what we’ve known for years. Cave-In is awesome!
By the way, if anyone happens to be thinking of changing energy supplier I can highly recommend Bulb, who I have been with for about 18 months. This week until Tuesday night their refer a friend scheme offers new customers £100 credits to the account with this link: