Live Review: Pepa Knight

12 November 2014 | 11:47 am | Milly Mead

Bananas and sitars featured in the Jinja Safari frontman's quirky set.

 As bodies moved around the small stage at Newtown Social Club on Sunday night to set up for Pepa Knight and his band, a mobile clothes rack was wheeled onto the stage. The rack was placed amongst an array of peculiar-looking instruments, including a sitar and some sort of accordion. It featured five hanging bananas, which were suspended from the rack with wire and plugged into auxiliary cords at each base. If the brightly-coloured Indian flower garlands draped all over the set weren’t enough to give it away, the bananas were a definite indicator that this wasn’t going to be your average gig.

Australian artist Pepa Knight, also known as co-frontman of Jinja Safari, released his first solo single earlier this year and it was received with praise from all over the world. So, he’s continued doing his own thing and the result of his individual labour is a sensory experience that borders on spiritual for those watching. The Hypnotise tour is, in one word, incredibly hypnotising.

There were 3D glasses for sale at the door so that the modest gathering of punters could take their experience to the next level and indulge in the sights of the shapes, lines and colours jumping off the screen behind the musicians. Pepa hummed, chanted and stroked his sitar while a bearded Indian man wearing a sari and a large cone hat made of aluminium foil sat and drummed on bongos.

It was revealed that the bananas were a new addition to the performance and were intended to be used as instruments, which would produce a sound when moved. They weren’t quite working yet, but Pepa promised that in the future they would endeavour to expand to cantaloupes and dragon fruit to make music – and that in itself just about sums up the weird and wonderful performance of Pepa Knight.

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