Local & Live Music Review

Mad King Ludwig & The Mojo Co.

The Duke, Whitstable, Saturday 7th October 2017


A solitary musician stands upon a stage. He wears a golden turban and with sinuous flute notes he calls together a raggle taggle band who join him with instruments at the ready. The King is then suddenly apparent also as he stands stock still, resplendent in a shimmering patterned trouser suit; a spotlight bouncing sparkles from the makeup on his face. He seems aware and focussed as he surveys the crowd surveying him. Slowly he blinks while some kind of disconnect occurs before realising his eyelids have painted eyes upon them.


The ceremony begins: what guttural roar of musicality comes forth from Mad King Ludwig? A newly unchained ecstatic Rain Dog, running, jumping, gyrating on the midnight streets of otherness. Across the road Tom Waits and the good Captain Beefheart are passing by deep in discussions of mysterious insects and of exactly what kind of ice cream a crow prefers out in the scorching desert; Iggy Pop follows dancing in their graceful wake. They see the Sun King Ludwig, and cheerily wave amidst Zooms & Sparks to their new companion.


The Spirit is on the King now, he's talking in unknown tongues, snatches of beautiful and wise poetic lyric are caught on the wing. I ain't no King I suppose. I'd rather bow down to B.B.King, & take your partner by the foot , as the fabulous Mojo Co. play a meshed marvel of ever changing rhythms and intrigue, and oh! Tsar Chord's guitar travelling from 60's San Francisco, then further beyond, bleeping from outer space, and weaving in and out of synapses flashing into the kingdom of Freak-Bop.


The King states it slowly and precisely, true enough to deepen us all. See them walking from tribe to tribe, the King walks, the King stops and in this fleeting place he staggers, stands and then falls to the ground writhing in love and fury, moments to go before a reenactment of death throes, and there he lays as the band plays on until a woman nudges him with her foot, he looks up remaining who he is and isn't, then resurrects to a glorious finale.


[Epilogue] and there's that flickering neon sign again above a doorway in the rain - Magic Theatre For Madmen Only - but you can visit too, catch their next gig of outre emotion and edge city wonderment; the doorway is transient though, could be gone tomorrow, ask The Outsider, ask Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf - ring Dada who wants you for a sunbeam - but as for us, it's here right now in all it's liberating glory


Submitted by Nigel