Tekst: Susanne van Hooft
King Kong Company played two times at Vestrock before. We´re curious about the festival experiences of this remarkable band. And, furthermore; what can we expect from the King Kong Company show at Vestrock? Luckily King Kong Company’s Mark White has all the answers to these questions.
You played at Vestrock in 2017 and 2016. Can you share some memories from Vestrock?
When we arrived there were bottles of beer with our name on it: King Kong Company beer. That’s a really good start. The people there look after us. Besides the gig, what we love, it is always a good place to party and have fun.
The first time we played there, we arrived and our luggage didn’t arrive at the airport. So, we had to borrow a guitar and a guitar set from one of the other bands. Some way my clothes didn’t arrive, so I had no underpants for after the gig. The taxi driver who brought us from the airport to Vestrock, went to his house and gave me his clean underpants. And I still have them!
What have you been doing since your last visit at Vestrock?
We’ve been playing at festivals and we had a lot of gigs in the UK. Last month we did a small tour in the UK where we played with a band called Dreadzone. Then we had our own headline show in London, Camden Assembly. We’ve been playing in Ireland in the Olympia theatre as well, which is a big theatre and we sold that one out. We’ve been busy, getting ready for the summer festivals.
I can imagine that your set at a festival differs from a set in a club tour.
We’re conscious of the fact that we have a much bigger stage to fill when we play out at festivals. Usually in the clubs, even in the big venues that we are playing in Ireland, the stage is even still smaller than the stages that we’re playing at at festivals. That’s one of the things we’re conscious of for a festival show; to fill the stage. It’s not just about the band or what the band plays, it’s about putting on a show. We add a large visual element to what we do at festivals. You want the person who is at the back of the field to be able to enjoy the show as much the person who is at the front of the field.
Is there a main difference between the Dutch audience compared to the Irish or UK audience?
Usually at festivals everybody is there to enjoy themselves. Everyone is outside, they’re having a beer, and they’re there to enjoy themselves. So, festival audience are quite similar to that extend. So far the weather has always been good in the Netherlands when we’ve come to play at festivals. At the festivals in Ireland, and some of them in the UK as well, we’ve played in mud and rain. And lucky that hasn’t happened in the Netherlands so far. We yet have to experience that.
If you’d like to convince the audience that they should see King Kong Company at Vestrock, instead of other acts on the festival, how would you sell yourself?
There’s a lot more happening at our show than just making music. The music is very energetic and it is our job to make people dance; it is also our job to put on a show. What we do isn’t just for people’s ears; it’s for their eyes and their minds as well. If you want your whole body to experience a gig, you should come and see King Kong Company.