Real Live Action

The King Khan & BBQ Show / The Dutchess & the Duke

November 7 @ Biltmore Cabaret

Review By Robert Robot

The King Khan & BBQ Show are all about good times—well, at least until they hit Vancouver, where there was an aggro contingent in the audience bent on tarnishing the show.

The night started off civil, yet bland. Seattle’s the Dutchess & the Duke were as cute as puppies with their sibling-like teasing on the microphones. This Hardly Art-signed group was hardly entertaining, though, and the muffled sound system didn’t help the group’s wimpy delivery of wimpy folk narratives. Snore zone: population these guys.

By the time King Khan got on stage, the audience was starved for rock bravado. The costumed denizens of quality surf/sludge-a-billy—Montreal/Berlin duo of Khan and BBQ (a.k.a. Mark Sultan) dressed up in ridiculous wigs and blouses—delivered raucous vocals, more leg than I needed to see, and more rock theatrics than you could light a guitar with.

However, soon I heard “This isn’t a Limp Bizkit show,” uttered by Khan, unimpressed by the audience’s moshing and pushing towards the stage. And soon after that, I was amazed to see a couple fighting while Khan were getting going. I was even more amazed when the woman turned her wrath from her bearded boyfriend towards a friend of mine. Trying to separate the two, my Good Samaritan chum was now getting rained on with hockey punches.

After the Cro-Magnon couple were extracted from the building, things settled down for a while. I’d almost forgotten all about it when I felt something splash the back of my neck. Turning around, there was yet another bearded cretin with more anger than sense. This one was smashing beer sleeves on the floor, showering gawking gig-goers with shards of glass and alcohol. In an instant, the two of us were locked in a standoff caused by pacifist moi trying to put a halt to the ridiculousness of the situation. In the end, no bones were broken, just civility.

To put it simply, some audience members acted like jocks at a punk gig, detracting from the real focus of the night—King Khan & BBQ Show.