Review: Kula Shaker @ The Cambridge Junction

TEN years ago, I thought Kula Shaker were one of the best live bands in the world - that was out of naivety as then I d possibly only seen a dozen bands. Ten years later it sometimes feels there are about a dozen bands that I haven t seen and my opinion o

TEN years ago, I thought Kula Shaker were one of the best live bands in the world - that was out of naivety as then I'd possibly only seen a dozen bands. Ten years later it sometimes feels there are about a dozen bands that I haven't seen and my opinion of Kula Shaker hasn't altered at all.

This was an impressive return for a band who thoroughly deserve to carve out a name for themselves that isn't only associated with a few glory years in the 1990s. They arrived on stage to foreboding, dark Eastern beats and launched right into Hey Dude - track one from their debut album. The stage was cluttered with a projector screen and an array of bright coloured lights - it was as if they'd kept all the same kit from when they were playing the country's bigger venues and insisted on putting on exactly the same grand shows.

Perfectly balancing a sense of fun and artistic purpose, the band switch between the greatest tracks from their first two albums and new songs that often show a more mature sense of songwriting. Hurricane Season is Dylanesque, but suits a them very well. Die For Love is one of my songs of the year - an anti-war song that mixes politics, poetic lyrics and a defiant hippie philosophy. Soaring, dirty guitar solos, the sent of burning incense sticks and a reason to be back making music - exactly what the world needs now.

CHRIS BOLAND

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