TOKOLOSH *****HK119 1/2*****The Wilmington Arms, Clerkenwell, 4th March 2013
HK119 1/2*****Having checked out tonight’s support on TwatterFace beforehand, it becomes apparent that HK119 is not a Heckler And Koch machine pistol, but the sobriquet of one Heidi Kilpeläinen - a London-based Finnish performance artist. And, she’s promising the audience the appearance of the ‘rarely seen’ human iceberg. Gulp.
And it really doesn’t get any better. Mild amusement ensues as she removes her rarely seen human iceberg hat to reveal another prismic pointy hat. This time in a William Morris-esque floral print to match her newly revealed slinky catsuit, having thrown off the boy protein-fortified bed sheet.
TOKOLOSH ***** (Sound guy *****)Having thankfully cleared the stage of leaves, weirdness and pretense (note to self, great prog album name), 5 down-to-earth looking lads take to the boards. But, talking of prog, it’s a stage that Caravan, ELP, Yes or The Nice would be happy with. Organs, banks of synths, wooden stuff, boxes of dials and flashing lights surround Mr Frost clutching his red semi acoustic centre stage.
I joke about the prog, but there’s real and direct lineage from Iron Butterfly, Argent, Deep Purple, Moody Blues, The Doors and, of course Emerson Lake And Palmer on show tonight. Not necessarily in the actual music (no rambling 11 minute classically-infused wankfests here, thank the lord), but in the sounds, the vibe, the technique.
Saying that, there is a big BUT tonight. And a sad one. Both sets of keys are so high in the mix, that it almost renders the rest of the band inaudible. I honestly don’t know what the sound engineer is up to. Initially, thinking it was a monitor spillage, I moved back but the keys were still far too dominant. To the end, it almost ruined a brilliant performance. Frost’s stunning voice was drowned out at times. His guitar reduced to an air-guitar prop.
Here are a couple of their brilliant tunes. Enjoy: