Gig Review

Plus Protokoll, The Exits
Southampton, Joiners
22nd October 2006

Chikinki                        Protokoll                   The Exits

The Joiners is a mysterious little venue, with a tiny entrance and beefy blokes stood there taking tickets. No computer system, just a good old clipboard, and a book of tickets. The audience are invited to wait around in this small room with a long bar, until sound-checks are complete, when the main room is open. I stood over by the jukebox with my trusty pint of Strongbow, and marvelled at the posters all over the walls. So many bands have previously played here, clearly before they got massive. Coldplay, Libertines, JJ72, to name but a few. Even Chikinki headlined here before, and who were their support act? Kasabian. Funny how it's now everyone who knows the latter, and Chikinki are the "who the fuck?" band. Which explained why I was alone.

The sound check ended, and after collecting my second pint from the pink-haired barmaid, I wandered in and assumed my position. I could tell this was going to be an awesome gig. There were a handful of people, and the room was tiny. Normally the lack of crowd would suggest, "oh dear Lord, they're wank," but no, I had a good feeling about this.

The first band on were the exits. A four-piece* from Portsmouth, who I'd never heard of, but was instantly a fan when I was given a free CD. Banging.

The singer had a kind of Johnny Borell look to him, and a Noel Gallagher-esque style of singing, the drummer was just hidden away with some old school earphones on, and the keyboardist looked fresh out of Abba or something. *As for the fourth member, maybe I lied and he didn't exist. Or maybe I've just forgotten where he was.

And so they started, with some funky keyboard riff that soon eminated into a full out funky tune, with synths, bass, upbeat drumming and a giraffe. Okay I made up the last bit, but it was so unexpectedly crazy that one could have arrived and blended in. I'd never been to a gig where you actually have the urge to dance. Maybe it was the strongbow, or maybe it was just the sheer awesomeness of this band.

Song after song they belted out, every single one encompassing the words "let's get funky, man" perfectly. These are a very special band.

Fever, Side By Side, You Gotta Help Me Out and Neon City are stand-out tracks of this group, who deserve to go a long way. Brilliance.

The next band on were Protokoll whose frontman has a wacky afro that engulfed half his face. How cool is that? Really... And any band that start their audience rapor with "alright motherfuckers?" must be good.

I don't actually remember much of their set, but that isn't a bad thing, I'm sure. Because I remember thinking they were good. It was a similar gist, of this funky electro indie music, and it was all good. Perhaps the front-man is a little OTT with how he gets on the floor and plays his guitar, but musically, very good. (Sorry guys, my memory has failed me.)

And then, the cream of the crop, (I rise to the top, I never eat a pig, cos a pig is a cop,) it's Chikinki!
Never heard of them mate.
Your loss.

So, the band. There's a guy on a tiny little keyboard, that I think controls the bass, then there's the guitarist who looked like he should be a moviestar, kind of a blond Keanu Reaves, then "the highschool nerd" on two other keyboards. Greedy or what? The drummer, again, hidden away, and then a tall, slender, shy, slightly camp singer. Now from listening to the bands albums, you wouldn't think he looks like this. But indeed he does. And when he spoke into the microphone, he sounded like Lofty. (That's right, from Bob The Builder!)

They kicked off with Two Different Worlds. Great song.

The sound in this room was immense. For such a small place the sound was awesome. You could hear everything. And with all the synthy funk these bands were churning out, it was just fantastic.

After Lies, came Ether Radio. And upon playing the first guitar note, the crowd erupted. If you think you don't know Chikinki, you might find you actually know this song, it was used on an advert a while ago, and it's one of their best. Played excellently. Very much enjoyed.

More songs followed like Too Easy, Something More, Hate TV, and a classic, Assassinator 13. I think this was the track I ever heard by them, about four years ago. I can't think of any other way to describe these groups other than awesome, and such similar words. But I'm fast running out of synonyms and I hate repeating myself.

They had been told to cut their set a bit short which the lead singer didn't think "was right." But maybe they should have, because when it came to their last song, Like It Or Leave It, one of my favourites, and possibly one of the crowds favourites given the response, about half way through, the guitar cut out. Then the bass. Then the vocals. Until the drummer was alone in playing, and he stopped too. All members looked into the soundbooth and put two fingers up.

"Thanks" the super-nerd mouthed sarcastically, as the singer leaped off the stage to go and have words. Nothing changed though. He made his way back to the stage shortly afterwards and started cabling up, talking to the fans and saying sorry. It wasn't his fault.

Shame about how the gig ended really, given that up until that point everything was immense.

Top marks all round.
Go and check out these bands if you can.
You won't regret it.

Review by Thom


Rupert (Vocals, guitar)
Trevor (Synthesizers, clarinet, saxophone)
Boris (Keyboards, percussion, vocals, strings)
Ed (Guitars, vocals, trumpet)
Steve (Drums, percussion, technology)

Jose De Lara (vocals, guitar, synth)
Ryan Z (guitar)
Daniel O’Neill (bass and vocals)
Reid Calkin (drums and percussion)
 The Exits

Ray Charlton (Vox, Synth, Guitar)
Mike Keating (Guitar, Synth, Programming)
George Austin (Bass, Synth, Programming)
Tom Poulton (Drums, B-Vox)
 Band Related Links
Chikinki Myspace
Protokoll Myspace
The Exits Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?