Shaking The Heavens

My daughter Courtney surprised me on Father’s Day with tickets to see Kula Shaker in Manchester, at a venue I’ve seen them before. And, as lead singer Crispian Mills pointed out on the night, this time round it was quite an appropriate venue.

Their latest album release (a double album) is a bit of a concept album. Titled 1st Congregational Church Of Love And Free Hugs, Mills explains:

“It is set against a theatrical backdrop, a small church in a semi—fictitious English village called Little Sodbury. I just liked the mental imagery of the small church with a rickety, leaky roof and a great storm raging in heaven, with all these tiny people huddled together to tell stories and sing songs and make it through the dark night.”

The concert took place in the Albert Hall, which was built as a Methodist Hall in 1908.

Huddled together to sing songs through the dark night. Thankfully, though, with no leaking roof.

There are also connections with Manchester for the group: Mills told the audience that Manchester was a special place for them, we Northerners accepting the group when the ‘villains’ of London said “no.” It was after a gig in this city that they were signed by a record company.

The band made a nod to Manchester’s musical heritage during their performance of their popular song Tattva, breaking into the native Happy Monday’s Hallelujah.

My daughter, familiarising herself with their better known hits during the preceding days, asked me how old they were. On telling her that I didn’t know the age of every member of the group but I did know that the lead singer was born in ‘73 (with me checking in in ‘71) I think she was expecting four frail old men to take the stage.

But they blew her away. With Mills as energetic as ever and the other three in sync, they were only halfway through the opening number when she remarked to me “They’re great live!” Which came as a relief to a veteran like me.

And when Mills threw his guitar into the air, catching it on the spin before throwing himself down, horizontal, onto the wooden boards without missing a note, she exclaimed “My God!”

Not for the first time that that phrase would have been uttered in these surroundings. But what was definitely a first for Courtney, who already has a number of concerts under her belt, came during the encore: singing along to a song entirely in Sanskrit! (Govinda)


15 thoughts on “Shaking The Heavens

  1. We weren’t all villains in London! I remember GLR, the BBC’s local radio station in London, giving a lot of support to Kula Shaker in the mid-90s. I never saw them live (but then I didn’t see many live acts at all around that time 😦 )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool Dad, Cool Daughter…fun times coming full circle is pretty cool, too. Thanks for introducing me to this group a while back…the performance you described reminds me of Jethro Tull when he’d make his leaping entrance onto the stage whilst (!) playing his flute and that was only the beginning…back in the day when concerts weren’t so expensive!!!!
    Happy belated Father’s Day, Andy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well I would love to see them, and in such a great venue too. I’ve seen Newton Faulkner at the Albert and I remember thinking, what a brilliant backdrop for a concert. Off to ask Alexa to play Kula Shaker.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Shaking The Heavens – PATOSKING

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