BLK JKS @ Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco- March 9th, 2009


w/ The Botticellis & The Dry Spells

Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco, CA; March 9th, 2009

I can’t put into words how important I think this band is about to become- if you haven’t already read my review of BLK JKS stellar debut EP, Mystery; do that now. Keep that link open and listen to the whole record- I’m sure you have 19 minutes somewhere in your day to sneak in a listen. Don’t even read the review, just listen.

Okay, you’re back.

Last night at SF’s Rickshaw Stop I was able to get myself right to the front of the crowd as South Africa’s BLK JKS were loading their gear on to the stage; since this is not only their first tour of the states, it’s also their first visit here, so no road crew. I was also able to chat up their manager after the show, (yo Knox– you rule!) who let me in on what they did after they first arrived here (recording 12-hour days for three weeks straight) for the upcoming full-length album (possible release date the first week of August, look for that on Secretly Canadian). He basically said they have about two hours of songs that need to be cut down to about an hour, meaning more possible EPs? I don’t know, but I’m fucking excited for this band.

I also got to chat with guitarist Mpumi Mcata, who related how they traveled by van (Bloomington, Indiana to Chicago to LA to SF) to all their shows and were due to board a flight in about five hours to play a couple of shows in NYC, then fly down to Austin for a string of shows at SXSW Festival. Welcome to America, please enjoy your stay.

So what about the show?

I can rattle off a list of phrases like soulful, a mix of prog jamming and tightly orchestrated sections, at times scary- pure, unadulterated raw energy unleashed on the crowd from Mpumi‘s axe; the speakers were used like a weapon of mass destruction to all ears in the room. Between drummer Tshepang‘s volatile explosiveness behind the kit, to bassist Molefi‘s bend-down-low bass lines and lead singer Lindani‘s emotive vocals and spirited guitar playing, I was literally blown the fuck away. Amazing. So much so that words fail me; please- look at the pics.