Kate Boy live in London
Kate Boy live make androgyny seriously sexy.
Clad in an all black uniform combining military finesse with skateboard chic, the 4 band members performed in synchronised unison, caressing mics, smashing drums and synth pads, demanding audience members stand to attention. Despite not being able to see their faces, or much of their flesh, there was an undeniable buzz of sexual energy in the air.
Perhaps that had something to do with the temperature of the dark, dirty room; the air con and fans were of course broken on London’s only balmy summer day. As a result Kate Boy played their sold-out show to a very eager, but very sweaty crowd with temperatures so high, sweat was dripping from faces of even those not dancing.
Aussie born Kate Akhurst heads up this foursome and performed like a soldier, leading her Swedish army – Hampus Nordgren Hemlin, Oskar Sikow Engström and Markus Dextegen – through the electronic battlefield of London, marking their territory to ensure they’ll be playing another UK show soon.
Kate doesn’t rely on feminine charm or a bare flesh for audience attention – the truly talented tend not to. Eyes hidden from view under a baseball cap, the only thing that betrays her sex is her note-perfect, distinctly female voice. But her vocals weren’t her only striking trait; she dances with total accuracy, exercising full control over every limb, each placement of an arm as intentional as a sergeant’s salute. Her rhythmic moves are echoed and shadowed by the precision drumming and synth work unfolding either side of her; the Swedes have so many successful electronic bands for good reason!
They only played 5 songs (give them a break, they’re a new band), but each was drawn out into extended glory of metallic synths and stabbing drums. Not remotely gratuitous I might add.
I found myself imagining them commanding huge festival stages and smashing it at intimate dirty warehouse parties. I’m sure they could nail a performance in any space.
Closing their electrifying set with their first single, Northern Lights, the crowd were in total awe of this musical militia. ‘Everything that we touch turns to gold.’ Perhaps when they wrote that line they’d seen the future, because if ever a new band was going places, it’s the sexless but sexy, Kate Boy.