27 May 2004
Camden Underworld

It`s unfair for me to comment on the opening acts Tracie Hunter Band and Sacred Heart as I`m not into the genre of music they play and was actually chatting with K2 for a good portion of their sets. Johan did however get some good shots of both bands and their set lists were as follows.

Tracie Hunter Band set list:
Mercury / Religion / Like You / Race / Maybe / If This Is All / Did Me In / Astoria Morning

Sacred Heart set list:
Crazy World / Fall / In My Heart / Rock ‘n` Roll Away / Promise / The Last Goodbye / Lost

K2 is the new band put together by Kee Marcello, formerly of Europe. Kee has assembled a powerful rhythm section to back him in Snowy Shaw (Dream Evil, Notre Dame) and Ken Sandin (ex-Transport League).

I wasn`t sure what to expect in terms of turn-out tonight, neither in numbers or who would come. In fact there was quite a mix of young and old, but, unsurprisingly, given that the debut album is not out until 17th June and the gig hadn`t been massively promoted, the Underworld felt quite spacious tonight.

I was also curious as to what people were expecting tonight. Kee had made available at his site short snippets of all the tracks from the Melon Demon Divine album and having downloaded these my appetite had been suitably wetted for both tonight`s debut gig by the band and to obtain the CD on release. I suspect that I may have been one a very few here that had done so as the crowd remained quite static throughout until a crowd pleasing unrehearsed version of Europe`s Rock The Night at the finale of the set.

If the crowd had come anticipating Europe style melodic rock, they were immediately jolted from this expectation by powerful opener Evil Ways. Kee`s ripping guitar solo and the distinctly acrobatic drumming from Snowy Shaw awoke people to the fact that K2 are a much heavier proposition.

I mentioned to Kee that the new material reminded me of that difficult to pigeon-hole sound that King`s X purvey and he was appreciative of the comparison. Bassist Ken Sandin provided the harmony back-ups tonight, though the PA sound once again in the Underworld seemed to be favouring the bass and drums at the expense of the vocals. Stage front benefiting from the sound of Kee`s on-stage amp seemed the best place to be stood.

Enemies further perplexed a portion of the audience with its reggae tinged verse which makes way for a massive chorus. That`s a common characteristic of K2`s music in that whilst the songs contain heavy riffs, they are groove laden and contain strong hooks. Continuing Kee`s willingness to experiment, Blood contains a subtle verse, which brings to mind Sting, leading into a powerful chorus.

K2 clearly had fun with a cover of Parasite by Kiss, with Kee accurately recreating Ace Frehley`s solos. Kee`s own solos throughout were "out of this world" (sorry about that one!) and the heavier K2 sound gives a greater opportunity to showcase his talents.

The Kashmir like Raptor closes the main set, but the band are soon back with the twisting riffery and rolling bass line of If. This was the planned end to the set, however such was the demand for something Europe related, that as previously stated, the band return for their first ever attempt at Rock The Night. Perhaps a curious choice given that Kee didn`t write or play on the original version, though the crowd loved it.

Some of the Europe die-hards here tonight might think otherwise, but there is certainly life after Europe for Kee Marcello.

K2 set list:
Evil Ways / Enemies / E.M.D. / Blood / Parasite / Raptor / If / Rock The Night