Mad King Ludwig & the Mojo Co – Gig Review

Makeup. Hats. Psychedelic Grooves.

Finally, I managed to catch Mad King Ludwig & the Mojo Co again at the Joiners in Southampton, this time opening up for a full evening of live bands.

I really wouldn’t attempt to put these guys into a box, theyd break the box, jump on it, then run off – what they do and the noise they make are definitely unique and their self-defined ‘Freak-Bop’ label fits better than any other I can think of.

With a blues, psychedelia, rock, funk, jazz and a variety of other musical influences front and centre, these guys have a really eclectic sound and the image to match. The Mad King cavorts out front in makeup and a waistcoat, sounding like the lovechild of Tom Waits and Nick Cave, with the Mojo Co behind rolling out a red carpet of groove for the audience.

Opening up with a funky slow-jam ‘Accoutremania’ before lurching into a bombastic, swinging rendition of ‘Take Your Partner by the Foot’, the band put on a lively set. Following through on the opening duo, the next few tunes (‘Cranial Oom-Pah Orchestra’, ‘[I ain’t goin to the] Courthouse]’) show a great variety of tempo and feel, finishing on the ecstatic (‘Cannibale’).
Throughout the show they were sonically varied in the most unexpected ways; with keys, heavily processed guitars, drums, saxaphone and at one point (!) an actual saw all colliding in a brazenly experimntal sonic buffet.

While the set was only half an hour this time, I have caught these guys a few times before and know they have a lot more freaky and inventive material to show – possibly the most unique sounding new band in Southampton at the moment and definitely the most striking.

Mad King Ludwig & the Mojo Co will be at the Blues Kitchen, Camden on 7th July and back in the south for many more shows throughout the summer.

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