Fireworks

Richie Kotzen / The Konincks Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     September 11, 2017    
 
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Richie Kotzen / The Konincks - O2 Academy, Islington (UK) - 01 September 2017

Openers The Konincks provide atmospheric Blues guitar, reminding at times a little of Jack White and singer Julia Herzog looking a little like Patti Smith, starting with slower smoky nightclub style singing (delivered with a quirky alternative jerky style with roots in seventies Punk visually) and finishing musically with a complete rock-out crescendo.


Richie Kotzen Live 3

Sympathies were with Richie Kotzen tonight as he explains that two days before this gig he could barely speak and we all know how draining it is to be ill, even without the stress of a solo gig in a capital city, but the performance is still amazing, whatever happens talent will out. One thing for sure the show is not boring.

While there is plenty of superb shredding to keep Rock fans happy (as well as plenty of Funk-inspired material), Kotzen has moved on since his membership of Glam band Poison, and now short-haired and simply dressed, these days he lets the music do the talking. At times, he even let others do the singing too; Herzog helping out to deliver an excellent performance of 'Remember' where she ditches the slightly Punk movements and really shines, and Kotzen's bass player sings 'High' and proves he had a damn fine voice too, while he plays a homemade, wooden stringed, slightly pyramid shaped instrument vertically in a bow cello and Stray Cats style. Nevertheless, despite some technical difficulties leading to long bass and percussion solos and perhaps a more extended stay at the keyboard than intended, I find myself still in awe and Kotzen reminds me of Prince with the sheer beauty of his Falsetto singing.

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Also, his stage craft has come a long way from slight awkwardness when he began performing as a solo artist again several years ago to a confident, self-assured manner, even under the stress of everything not going to plan, he shows that he is really comfortable in his own skin getting in the zone, eyes facing heavenward and showing that musically he has found himself and is right where he ought to be.


Richie Kotzen Live 2

Despite a very unfortunate large fight in the audience during encore 'This Is Life' which spills into the disabled and press enclosure scattering wheelchairs and journalists to the four winds, Richie Kotzen carries on without turning a hair although the performance finishes five minutes early. Despite the practical difficulties tonight, we were left wanting more, aware we had been in the company of a musical genius and wanting him to return.

Words and photos by Dawn Osborne


Richie Kotzen Live 1

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