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Chasing Kharma

Stuart Bailie | 10:48 UK time, Friday, 20 April 2007

Stuart Bailie.jpgWednesday night, Oxford Street, and the spirit of rock and roll hangs over the warm London night. Tim Wheeler and Ash have just finished a set at the Virgin Megastore. Down at the 100 Club and The Damned are recreating the birth of punk rock. Meantime at the Metro, an act from Strabane is making a noisy claim.

They’re called Kharma 45 and they play rock anthems with robust beats. The two singles, ‘Ecstasy’ and ‘Where’s Your Spirit Man’ are not afraid to rave in the tradition of Faithless and Underworld. Given that rave was the last original youth culture, 20 years ago, this isn’t such a bad place to start.

But when we see them in this hot little basement, it’s the rough edges of the music that charm us best. The machines are secondary to Glenn’s squalling voice and the roar of Peter’s guitar. An approving audience of fans, industry heads and tourists are into the scheme. The hope, of course is that they can all tell their kids that they had the foresight to witness future music legends in a tiny joint.

kharma.jpgApparently Kharma 45 signed a very substantial deal with Warner Records, possibly the biggest since U2. I don’t necessarily know if I want that kind of expectation hanging over my head, but you can probably live with it. The challenge right now is to keep playing those gigs, to inspire their congregations and to place their urban hymns in the order of service.

They play The Limelight, Belfast, May 6. Check out the bands’ myspace site here.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 05:54 PM on 21 Apr 2007,
  • Vivien Gleason wrote:

My night was made when my husband Gerry Gleason(well known local artist) came home on Friday evening with Gary Lightbody's aughtograph! My mate Susan will probable set her dog(Rufus) on me for this! Rufus is famous too, having appeared on the gold carpet at the Q.F.T. as Toto from the Wizard of Oz!

  • 2.
  • At 05:40 PM on 23 Apr 2007,
  • Stuart Bailie wrote:

Every time Gerry stops off at the John Hewitt now, he can legitimately say he is "autograph hunting" and not merely having another refreshing drink. Result!

  • 3.
  • At 07:28 PM on 29 Apr 2007,
  • Susanmck wrote:

Hey Viv, I will trade you a Rufus paw print for that Gary autograph!
Gary Lightbody is a studmuffin of a man!!

  • 4.
  • At 09:47 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Vivien Gleason wrote:

His hooliness Terri Hooley was in great form in the John Hewitt 26th Apr. at after-party for the Gerry Gleason Exhibition at the Safehouse Gallery! It was also Gerry's birthday. Great music from Jaunty(Half Stoned Cowboys)Pat (Pat and Nipsy) and not forgetting the sight of that great Hewitt regular Robert on tambourine! Jack Pakenham said it was the best gig he'd seen Gerri do.! Susan and I were disappointed GaryLightbody(studmuffin) didn't appear! Might have been a fight in the Ladies! Viv

  • 5.
  • At 05:52 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Vivien Gleason wrote:

Forgot to mention Michael Callaghan who also played at the above event, could say him and Kika flew in especially from Berlin for the event, but I think that may be stretching the truth! Terri, thanks for doing "Hey Joe" inimitiable as usual! Viv

  • 6.
  • At 05:40 PM on 04 May 2007,
  • Vivien Gleason wrote:

Gerry was at the opening night concert at the Waterfront. Says Duke Special was incredible! Standing ovation! Good for him to say to all those people how the arts are under threat. Foy Vance great, Julie Feeney reminded him of Mary Coughlan. Looking forward to the the "Ten Wheels of Jesus" re-union gig! "Hanks Not in Hell" has to be a classic! Sean Kelly once again has delivered a great Festival. Even the pensioners enjoyed the Afterniin Tea Dance. See those ladies go! And only a cup of tea! Good luck to the "Oh Yeah" crowd.

  • 7.
  • At 09:23 AM on 06 May 2007,
  • Vivien Gleason wrote:

Up-date on Gary Lightbody autograph! Gerry was on the autograph trail again on Saturday, he saw Gary going past the Duke of York and got his autograph for Susan McKeever! Gary must be one of the most approachable guys around. How come Susan and I keeps missing him?

  • 8.
  • At 04:44 PM on 08 May 2007,
  • Vivien Gleason wrote:

The John Hewitt was brilliant on
Sunday night. Ten Wheels for Jesus were stormin', can't wait for their next gig. Despite the lack of space I still managed a good old jive! Sorry if some of the crowd objected! Do these people live a sheltered life! Good to catch up with people we hadn't seen for ages. Viv

  • 9.
  • At 01:08 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Susanmck wrote:

I now have Gary Lightbody's autograph framed and on my bathroom wall! Thanks Gerry (and Viv)

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