I think I have become a stalker. At least that’s how I would call myself after following King Dude in 4 countries in the last 2 years. First Paris/France, then Sofia/Bulgaria, last year Alba Iulia/Romania and now Budapest/Hungary. But it was worth it every time, no matter if he played solo (Paris and Sofia) or with his demon brothers. So when he announced earlier this year that in April he’ll be coming to Budapest, we booked the flights and the accommodation just to be there, to see this band again.
I really enjoyed the Sex album and I was extremely curious to hear the songs in a live version. Another great reason not to miss this show was the opening act, the mysterious and strange American group Drab Majesty, a relatively new band which plays some kind of ’80s infused goth, new wave or even shoe gaze but with a quite modern touch.
That being said, Thursday, April the 20th we found ourselves in front of this great location, Durer Kert, looking for the specific room where the concert was going to take place.
Once inside, we were happy to see a very nice selection of the available merchandise, both for Kind Dude and for Drab Majesty. Lots of LPs, tapes, patches, cd’s, pins and multiple t-shirt models were put on display, inviting you to buy as many as possible ( only if you had the proper cash). After doing the traditional shopping ( the Drab Majesty vinyl is really great) we moved in front of the stage to watch this mysterious band (at least for me).
I listened to some of their songs on You Tube before, but usually live the impression can be quite different sometimes. And that was exactly what happened on Thursday. Even if there are only 2 musicians on stage (Deb DeMure on vocals and guitar and Mona D on keyboards and backing vocals), the songs and the atmosphere have a certain mystique aura, a concealed underground feeling of promiscuity and urban alienation.
The appearance of the two musicians (wigs, make up, long black leather coats and lots and lots of smoke) fits them like a glove and created a perfect visual set up for the music they played. The show started at 8 pm and for almost 1 hour the band introduced us to many of their songs from the latest album, The Demonstration, which was released quite recently. The set list also contained some tracks from their debut album, “Careless” (2015) thus making this concert a very balanced one.
I have to be honest and admit that several years ago I wouldn’t have imagined that I at some point I could actually dig this kind of music, but it seems that with time and age the horizons expand if you only open your mind. I enjoyed their performance a lot, and I was quickly drawn in the atmosphere by the calmness of Deb DeMure‘s playing and by the interesting sounds which Mona D created on his keyboards. Their voices combined together in an ethereal way, creating that mystique feeling I already mentioned earlier. Some random songs I remember from that night were Cold Souls, The Foyer, Too Soon to Tell and 39 by Design, the last one for the night.
After Drab Majesty and the usual change over, King Dude started the show at 21.15 sharp in a very energetic way with “Holy Christos“. Since he was supposed to play for more than an hour, the play list was quite consistent (16 songs), sort of making it up for the short performance at Dark Bombastic Evening last year, where because of an infernal hailstorm he had to shorten his concert considerably. His band, or the demon brothers, from the very charismatic bass player Lee Newman, to the talented Tosten Larson who plays multiple instruments just like crossing the road and finishing with the drummer August Johnson, are really great musicians and complete TJ Cowgill in a brilliant way.
The energetic songs are a bit heavier and faster than on the albums while the slowest ones are moodier and more melancholic compared to the studio versions. Tosten‘s piano adds even a bluesier touch to the songs, highlighting their sadness and desperation.
As usual, TJ was in a very good and funny mood, joking a lot with the audience in between songs, creating a very relaxed atmosphere. This atmosphere was spoiled by a minor incident when a drunk guy (who previously angered the Dude as well and received one of his boots in the head just because he was messing with the cables and the amps on stage) got hit in the face by a nervous lad.
Right after that incident, the band abruptly stopped “Desolate Hour“and King Dude tried to make sure the guy who got hit was OK. As everything came back to normal, the song was continued from the same chord and the rest of the concert took place in an even funnier and heavier atmosphere.
Since he was supporting his newest release, most of the songs were chosen from “Sex” but we could also hear tracks like “Jesus in the Courtyard” (amazing version), “Fear” or even “Miss September“. The rest of the play list was composed of the best tracks from “Songs of Flesh and Blood“. A very special moment was when TJ played “Who Taught You How To Love” together with the guy who wrote it, Deb DeMure from Drab Majesty. Cigarette in one hand and a microphone in the other, with Drab Majesty on the guitar, the King delivered a highly acclaimed version of this great song which has a very depressive atmosphere and trashy, decadent lyrics. Below you can see the video of this song, from that same night. Amazing performance.
Overall, this night was a very interesting one, with two bands which at first can seem from two different pictures but in reality have a lot in common in terms of atmosphere and feeling. Great musicians, great location and a pleasure to see these two talented bands perform together on the same stage. To top it off, the sound was very good, allowing each band to deliver their specific message in a clear and precise way.
Set List King Dude: