Chikinki, The Koreans

Judith Cumming 05/05/2004

I was already looking forward to this gig because of two reasons:
a) They were two talked about up and coming bands, so if they ever did get an NME cover I could boast about how I saw them first
b) The gig was free

After the delay of Chelsea being defeated at the hands of Monaco, and Rainieri's dreams of staying in West London were trashed, the stage was set for the Koreans. Sounding like a funky choral group with added guitar and theremin, they were immediately different. However, this difference did not magically translate into quality throughout the set. Unfortunately the Koreans missed out playing the wonderful "Machine Code" but they did air their new single (which was probably the best of the set), which of course can be downloaded from their website. Honestly, this is not a plug, I'm just happy I got a free Koreans badge! To sum up the visual impact of the Koreans it falls to my friend's comment about the singer: "He looks like a mixture of the guy from the Strokes (Julian Casablancas) and Jeremy Clarkson".

Chikinki blew me away from the first song with their synth/effects/jagged guitar weirdness. By the time "Ether Radio" came on I felt as if I was at a rave. Although, talked about as having Massive Attack influences, I felt they tended more towards a Primal Scream/Clinic/The Music crossover. The energy with which the singer bounced about, and the keyboardist with his golf visor moving between the different effects pedals certainly made me smile - and of course dance. However, Chikinki felt at times a bit too pretentious, commenting that "this one's about the rain - well, it's metaphorical". I also felt that some of the newer songs were not as developed as the singles, "Ether Radio" and "Assassinator 13". However, they are refreshingly different/wild/crazy and you will certainly be intrigued.