Kula Shaker - Manchester Academy 3 - 12.6.07

India, swastikas and the end of your career as you know it. No it isn't the latest Jade Goody racism row on Big Brother but it was how Crispian Mills and Kula Shaker bowed out 8 years ago. With one comeback tour behind them this sellout date in Manchester rewrites history again and paints them as a compelling live act whose frontman's facination with America during his little known band the Jeevas has been sidelined as he retreads back to India, the love affair of which started when Mills fell in love with an indian girl at school at 8 years old and spent his whole life studiously studying the culture which lead to the much misquoted swastika remark.

When it was originally released "Sound Of Drums" was largely ignored as the passing of Britpop was at its end. Tonight its epic and grandiose and out of all the tracks played tonight it's the most contemporary. Huge beats and huge vocals get the crowd going from the outset and while Crispian still looks about 20 the rest of the Kula Shaker are dressed somewhere between Sgt Pepper and Frank Zappa.

Entering into their political period on "Dictator Of The Free World", a critical missive from "The Revenge Of The King" EP to George W Bush with lyrics such as "I have god on my side, who care's if a few coloured people die" and "I wanna make love in Guantanamo". Immediately following it with one of their biggest hits "303" perhaps overshadows the serious moment for a while, but it's the hits that the majority of the audience are here for and they come thick and fast after that with "Tattva" segueing into the Happy Mondays "Hallelujah", "Hush" bringing back memories of indie dancefloors and ending on the anthem "Govinda" complete with Bollywood dancing from Mills.

For those that saw the band first time round it was great to have them back. With a mix of new material from the forthcoming album "Strangefolk" and the old hits it made the comeback worthwhile, but with a set lasting less than an hour and boo's as they left the stage you cant help but feel much of the audience felt short-changed

Alex McCann

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