King Kong Company are, by their own admission, focused on simply being the ultimate live band. The Waterford natives’ lively stage show features a member with a cardboard box over their head and the kind of riotous energy that draws back ever growing crowds. In fact, their return to Electric Picnic this summer was the stuff of legends.
It’s that secretive band member, known as simply ‘Boxhead’, who King Kong Company put forward to chat to the Gazette ahead of their forthcoming shows, and it’s a wild ride.
“Over the years we have worked hard to carve out a name for ourselves as a live act, best seen in our natural habitat on the festival circuit,” he tells us. “We’re not the typical mainstream radio play kinda band so we put our energy into what we love – a kick ass show, getting down and dirty with the headaballs.”
“The oddest place to play, hands down, was at the Aras. Asking Michael D Higgins if he was getting anythin’ off that will forever be a special memory. Sabina was loving it.”
“The people you see onstage really are only half the team responsible for a production,” he continues. “The whole King Kong Company family includes members in charge of PR, lights, sound, monitors, visuals, drivers, and lasers. Even down to the efforts of bubble boy Kev, our balloon thrower extraordinaire, everyone has their role and we share the common goal of putting on the best show we can.”
“We may not always agree on artistic visions but any of this can be settled with a friendly headlock. We are united in the fantasy for years now about getting someone onstage in a gimp suit. It hasn’t happened yet. Sad face. But we did get our lampy onstage doing the chicken dance. Pretty close.”
This kind of shenanigans is, it has to be said, typical for King Kong Company, who’s primary aim seems to hover somewhere between making music and having the most outrageous fun possible. One time, for example, they made a beer that was infused with Tonic Wine, together with a local brewery, because why not.
“One day one of our team woke up to an angry DM from the monks of Buckfast Abbey who accused us of using their brand without their permission,” Boxhead laughs. “It was all solved when we read the small print on the label and it said ‘tonic wine’ was an ingredient, so no brand names were used, people probably jumped to the conclusion that it was Buckfast because we drink it on stage. And it might have accidentally ended up in a press release.”
Then you ask about touring, and are left wondering how far the box lad’s tongue is in his cheek.
“Well, I definitely can’t tell you about the time someone pissed themselves in the car in Wales from laughing too much, or the time one of us was sick, puked their lungs up, then realised they were in the middle of someone’s marriage proposal, or even that time we met Oz’s Dorothy at Nozstock.”
“That stuff (hopefully) will never make it to print. We did get Happy Mondays back to a session at one of our houses. Bez is a terribly sound fella, told us he was going on Mastermind with beekeeping as his specialist subject, we laughed thinking it was a story. Then we saw him on Mastermind with his specialist subject BEEKEEPING! That was another quiet night. We’ll leave it there….,” he says.