Kula Shaker @ O2 Academy, Liverpool, 14 Dec

Live Review by Joseph Viney | 20 Dec 2016

'Crispian Mills to be the new Doctor Who' is a bet not even Paddy Power would open a book on. Yet as the Kula Shaker frontman exhibits his gangly frame, spaceman-on-business grey-silver suit and fine line in very English humour, it’s hard not to look at him and ponder ‘what if...?’

Indeed, ‘what if’ is a question that has followed Kula Shaker throughout the majority of their career. Celebrated and derided in equal measure since their early days, they eventually faded into the background after a strong double whammy of albums. Touring in aid of the 20th anniversary of debut LP K and treating their crowds to a run through the record, the group demonstrate poise and chops that show the benefit of both experience and being given the space to breathe.

A mazy stroll through K is a means of dabbling in some real enjoyable variety. The rush of Hey Dude and the sleek, limousine wheel roll of Knight On The Town segue gently into the mystic waves of Tattva and Govinda, before blasting into the wah-wah infused heaviness of Grateful When You’re Dead and 303.

This isn’t a gig for casuals and walk-up ticket buyers; a notion supported by the deep-throated singalong that accompanies Govinda, the first and currently only top ten UK single to be written and sung in Sanskrit.

"You can sing about things like premature teenage sex, or you can sing about everlasting, universal truth,” Mills once told a journalist in New York. It seems that erring on the side of universal truth has allowed Mills to become something of a Peter Pan figure; young in body and mind and talent. There may just be something to the mysticism after all.