King Khan is a nut. Boisterously funny, at times ironically in-your-face punk and soft-pornographic, he and his talented crew put on one of the wildest live shows I've ever seen.
I'd heard he was good, but I had just seen the Fleshtones the previous week, and was thoroughly impressed by the fun-loving, choreographed, but patently rocking performance they brought. But they look so well-behaved by comparison to the antics of Khan and co. This is Paris, mind you, a town with a respect for artists and bohemians, usually so long as they're wearing a suit, no matter how shabby. A small yet serious rock community exists (in addition to the throngs of global alt.pop and electro hipsters), but Khan's look and performance panache are all the more striking in this larger city's setting.
Khan was already at home in the bizarre decidedly un-stereotypically Parisian venue, the Glazart, which in the summer, is a kind of beach setting, all sandy with petanque game boxes, and tiki huts, the latter sometimes offering tasty seven-euro frozen margaritas. Khan decided to go bare foot and get some sand in his toes during the excellent Les Terribles set.
King Khan. Imagine a good-sized Indian (born in Montreal to immigrant parents, now relocated to Germany) with a prize beer belly in its full nude torso glory, wearing a cape, a kaiser Wilhelm spired-helmet (then a turban), and a lot of love beads. Then imagine a bit of glam sass manifest in gestures where he puts one foot up on the speaker, his body still turned toward the audience. His yelps and barbaric yaps echoing o'er all the rooftops of Paris kept perfect harmony with his frequent plunges to the floor, where he seizured about for a few seconds. He would also leap into the crowd, dirty dancing with unsuspecting and half-willing hotties, who nevertheless couldn't help cracking a grin or a giggle. He's a racy one, even pulling out a giant dildo during one song. Oh, but there's more.
At some intervals, and during his interventions into the opening set with Les Terribles, he transformed himself into a kind of human beer sprinkler, taking a big gulp of his plastic pint glass that appeared glued to his hand, he took his other hand and push on his cheek while slowly turning his head, spouting pseudo-punk streams of beer across the crowd. He has a dash of ironic punk rock to him, to be sure. He's serious un-serious. As one song was beginning, he addressed members of the audience, "Hey, to all you standing in the back there, eat shit and die!" Other times he engaged in a f-u flip off with the audience. During some plunges into the crowd, he'd foment some slam dancing. Unlike some overly serious punk shows, which unleash the repugnant music-event equivalent of road rage, it was free of any overt violence or aggression. Punk for a second, wink, wink. Postmodern times, meinen leiblings.