“A lot of the songs relate in some way to where we’re from,” Dingus Khan tell me, regarding surroundings and songwriting. “It’s best to try and keep things local,” they insist, before adding “because getting the eight of us to go anywhere else can be quite expensive“.
You heard right. Dingus Khan aren’t your stereotypical indie quartet, nor predictable five piece; rather, they boast an eye watering number of drummers (three, to be precise), a further three bass players, a member with an electric ukulele and a rasping lead singer clutching a guitar.
As you can probably guess, they make quite a racket.
Tracks such as How Do You Like Me Now and Knifey Spoony boast the kind of blistering reverb and crunchy riffs that you would expect, whereas Made A List is threaded together by a haunting whistled melody and hushed, wistful vocals. More than anything, however, the band seems intent on having fun and much of their material soars in an updraft of childish glee before crumbling beneath the sound of infectious laughter.
Unsurprisingly, 2012 proved to be a rather successful year for the Khan boys. The release of their debut album Support Mistley Swans gained them an extremely vocal fan in the form of BBC 6Music presenter Steve Lamacq and led to regular festival appearances on the BBC Introducing Stage and a support slot with The Fall.
They are showing no signs of slowing down either. When asked about the possibility of new material, the band are forthright in their response: “We’ve already got half an album of new songs ready to go for the next one. We’ll have something recorded and released by the end of summer and hopefully an album not too long after.”
I happened to be present at their debut Reading Festival slot, a delightfully chaotic half an hour set sandwiched between much audience interaction and an alarmingly large circle pit that threatened to swallow the BBC Introducing stage.
“Reading was pretty good, even better as Steve Lamacq came on stage to introduce us,” the band tell me. “Latitude possibly beats it though, because we had the local crowd.”
Clearly, Dingus Khan still remain very true to their roots and are quick to declare their love for our local Colchester sweatboxes.
“On the other end of the spectrum, gigs at places like V Bar and Tin Pan Alley are always brilliant because the walls sweat and everything falls over.” An extensive UK tour saw the band sneaking in a date at our very own Arts Centre (16th April), complete with “giant swan on the ceiling.”
On the eve of their homecoming show, it felt appropriate to ask the band about any tips for local musicians. After gushing with praise for BBC Introducing (“there’s not many places that can offer that kind of experience on such a local level“), they insist that individuality is key.
“Do as many gigs as you can locally, play to anyone you can and do something a bit different to what they’ll be expecting“, before namedropping Ordinary Noise as the local band to watch.
If you fancy submerging yourself in the world of Khan, it would appear that Tuesday’s show at the Arts Centre will be the perfect introduction. Just make sure you learn the actions to Ambulance beforehand, OK?
Download Support Mistley Swans and singles over here.