Kioko are a multicultural soulful pop/reggae band from Birmingham made up by Matt Doyle (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), Jon Brown (Lead Guitar), Ben Torrens (Bass), Ewan Whyte (Trumpet/Backing Vocals), Laurence Taylor (Trumpet) and Josh Wilkinson (Trombone).
I was lucky enough to get a chance to see these guys live on Saturday when they supported UB40 on their gig at De Montfort Hall in Leicester. I won’t lie before the gig I had never heard of Kioko but I defiantly left the gig knowing who they were.
Opening their set with the ‘Kioko Skank,’ within a few seconds they’ve got a room dancing along and getting the room ready for what turned out to be a cracking set from the band. Where they really shined for me was when they played ‘Deadly Roots’, the energy from the band along with the lyrics makes this a track you will no doubt have stuck in your head for days, I’m currently on my 2nd day of the track being stuck in my head and currently typing this whilst having a little dance to the song as I play it on my phone.
They also did a few covers, now I’m not a massive fan of covers especially of modern songs but the two covers Kioko did of ‘One Kiss’ & ‘Monkey Man’ were brilliant. They managed to put their own twist on the tracks, I won’t lie I much prefer their cover of ‘One Kiss’ to the original. As for ‘Monkey Man’ I have no words for that cover apart from ‘wow!’.
Kioko have one of the most exciting live sets I’ve ever seen! The bands energetic performance, without fail captivating every single person in the room. They are amazing live and they will definitely make a fan out of anyone who comes to see them. I for one arrived having never listened to them but I left a fan. So, make sure you don’t miss out next time they play a gig because believe me as good as the tracks are to listen to through a speak they are even better to hear live.
All that’s left to say is KIOOOOOOOKO! If you’ve ever seen this lot live, you’ll know what I’m referring to.
By Siân Parker
One Kiss (Calvin Harris ft Dua Lipa cover)
Let’s Be Frank
Paving The Way
Monkey Man (Toots and the Maytals cover)