KARN8 — Hobgoblin Staines

Thigh noon roxy showgirl Kirst sways to the rhythm like a python might twirl from a basket to hypnotise her prey. Slinkier than a millipede in a jump suit and as frisky as a she-panther on the prowl, Kirst chortles out the Karn8 tunes.

Anchoring down the other end of this hi octane three-piece act is the undoubted talent of Bones on guitar.  The instrumental work and the theatrical, technical mastery of Mister Bones is as exhilarating as it is astonishing.  He plays both rhythm/lead with bass sounds simultaneously through an ingenious split in the sound system. His contribution is as electrifying and it is solid.  And the pounding, rattling drums from the stickman Leigh were also spot on.

Are you f*** lot listening?” Screams Kirst towards the throng.  And as she glistens and gleams in the lights, pouting and purring, I can’t help comparing her to  Lauren Harris or Alannah Myles (Black Velvet). But at the moment she doesn’t quite possess that certain potency or the enigmatic thrust of a really truly sexy singer. For this to happen she needs to show some vulnerability – a bit less arrogance – and a couple of smiles.  And her vocal range feels a little under rehearsed at times.

But, to be fair, although the performance never really comes to life at this Staines show, this is the first date of a hectic tour schedule and first night nerves may be to blame. And perhaps there is a dearth of really good ideas and urgent songwriting from  Karn8 at the moment. But I feel sure that these creases will soon be ironed out. I confess that I did think that the band reminded me of Jefferson Airplane – but without those mystical journeys. Where are the trips?   Some songs seemed confused and lacking any real direction or reason. So I guess it’s fair to say that -at the moment- Karn8 just doesn’t light your tail-pipe.

But the band soldiered on getting the better of the crowd in Staines and giving it some real welly. Although not crackling with static electricity or burning your ears with fiery rock n’ roll, they still played their rampantly supersized guitar- blasting out their brand of jazzy blues- as Kirst did her powerful best to penetrate the enigmatic buzz and bluster created by Bones underneath.

There may possibly be more than a stale whiff of shop soiled lethargic pole-dancer about the act and it may be standard pub fare at present, but at least Karn8 are out there at large and ‘doing it’ – the gig was the first night of a ten-date ‘Dirt’ tour – lets wish ‘em well.  With a bit more panache and less fury coupled with more thrust, this band could really light your fuse if you give ‘em half a chance. So lets give the band a hand and encourage them to reach those higher peaks…

They may not your make loins ache just yet. But it should be fun to watch them grow.

© Neil_Mach
April 2010



RAW RAMP MAG: Old Music - New Music

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