Lawyers rock: King Rat review
This week mtl goes all NME by reviewing a recent gig of a lawyer's band. The lawyer was Sara Wax of large West End firm, Finers Stephens Innocent, the band was rock outfit "King Rat", the venue was Sound, Leicester Square, the lights were low and the amplifiers were huge. It was time to undo the top button, loosen the tie and rock.
As the band preened and prepared itself on stage, there was an unmistakable (if musty) air of expectation in the darkened venue. The small but knowledgeable, gig-going crowd knew what to expect: a big, anthemic plate of sound, garnished heavily with twiddled guitar and butch drums. From the first note, it was clear that Sara's corporate deals had been left at the office.
All eyes were on the lead guitarist: his head lowered (curly locks tumbling over his face like a ginger Brian May) and, posing astride, the rhythm squeezed through his drainpipes, coursed up his body and into his fingertips. Then his head lifted skywards, eyes closed, concentration etching his face. And then it came: loud and vibrant, epic and satisfying, a sound somewhere between Pink Floyd and Queen, with respectful nods to Radiohead and Jeff Buckley.
The animated lead singer had a certain boyish presence on stage, as he convincingly sung his way through their first few numbers: 'Lightening in the mind', 'Red Line' and ‘Cyanide’. The tunes were catchy and well-executed, although the complexity of the songs occasionally overwhelmed the poor soundman, whose inability to keep up with the changing soundscape rendered some words unintelligible and a few songs more mush than Muse. But it was clear that there was real creative talent here, a band that may not be far from making it ... and looking at the band members' surnames, it was incredible that they hadn’t done so already: Wax, De Bono, Hastie, Gladish and Cappuccini. No stage names required.
It is a little difficult to pigeon-hole King Rat, to give them a distinct and well-defined image. There's the well turned-out female (Sara) on keyboards, the excitable lead singer, the intense guitarist, the passive bass player and the stylish(ish) drummer. They all have an individual impact on stage, yet have a broad, eclectic mix of style and sound which isn’t going to go out of fashion.
If you know anyone who does anything ineteresting on the side, while still working in law, then please get in touch.