Since about 2003, these two maniacs have been subverting culture, using a tried and true reverence for the holy spirit of real rock’n’roll, mixed with Grade-A songwriting sensibilities, and a penchant for sexually-charged and challenging live hijinks of the first order.
Arish ‘King’ Khan: guitar, vocals. His voice is mostly the ‘snottier’ one. His guitar is the ‘lead’ one.
Mark ‘BBQ’ Sultan: drums, guitar, vocals. His voice is mostly the ‘smooth’ one. His guitar is the ‘rhythmic’ one. The drums are played live with his feet.
Together, they are an entity outside of their own control:
The King Khan & BBQ Show
Khan and Sultan have always done things exactly how they choose, mostly to their detriment, but with a sincere, deep-rooted understanding that fecal chickens do indeed roost. Their timeless anthems have stayed alive through the decades (!), and seem to always get picked up again by the next generation, organically.
This time around, social media has run HARD with the Sultan-penned ‘Love You So’, from their eponymous LP (In The Red – 2005). A legit and unlikely HIT in a world of prefab dreck, currently banking 100s of millions of views, downloads, video soundtracks…
Misguided trend or not, the song proves the timeless resonance and magic these warlocks wield. And is a testament to the power of alcohol and mushrooms.
The Pandemic, and its collateral mental health damage dealt quite a blow to the boys, as it did many others. The King Khan & BBQ Show was a perennial and stalwart touring favorite. While their catalog is very impressive, it’s always been the live show that shone brightest, and allowed them to share their ribald humor and chaotic, surrealist energy to an appreciative and varied cult of underground fanatics. A live show whose ritualistic primitivism opens portals to parallel worlds, to invoke spirits and ghosts using magick, using their raw soul – for good or for bad – to evoke the smells and feelings that confuse and delight.
It took some time, but they have finally decided to continue the healing process by touring the USA this Fall, and to spread whatever joy they can to a broken world, starving for authenticity and fun.
To help usher in this new chapter, The King Khan & BBQ Show have been recording in Berlin. The first ear-worm to make an appearance in time to whet whistles is ‘Going Down’, which recalls vague childhood memories of great Coasters anthems, while never losing sight of the band’s punk rock ethos. A doomsday tale of capitulation and crawling back into the womb, disguised as a fun, springtime ode to cunnilingus and carefree sex, it is the first in a string of songs expected to come out before their 2022 Fall tour, as a precursor to their long-overdue 5th LP. An album that promises to be their best yet. No joke.
The King Khan & BBQ Show have been impossibly fortunate over the years, all while remaining fiercely independent. Labels like Goner, In The Red, Fat Possum, Crypt and Norton have proudly minted their records. Tours of the Americas, Middle East, Asia, Australia, Europe were many. One of Lou Reed’s favorite bands, and it makes sense.
You can easily hear their influences: Velvet Underground, 60s punk, LSD, The Falcons, damaged art, Real Kids, Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, Z-grade horror movies, raga, hi-brow literature, farts…
This is rock’n’roll. This is punk. This is early r&b. This is psych. This is doo-wop. This is garage. It’s all this and more, without trying to be anything.
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