Last time Kaki King visited Berlin, she played Lido backed by a full piece band in support of her most recent release Junior. Apologising to last night’s crowd in the cosy surrounds of the Admiralspalast Studio for potentially being “boring” without her band and disappointing ticketholders expecting a similar show, she proved to be anything but.
Considering her talent is so immense and back catalogue so wide, it seems King dedicates each tour to a specific genre of her work, with last night being an intimate display of solo, predominantly instrumental guitar pieces. Armed with only a selection of various acoustic guitars, the simple no-frills approach to her material was a special treat to experience.
Her set was filled with a generous mix of brand new works written on previous dates of the current tour, songs she wrote early in her career, and modern adaptations of classical pieces. Proving her status as one of the most gifted guitar players today without the ego to match, King was chatty and personable throughout the show, sharing endearing anecdotes whilst describing each instrument’s special quality and craftsmanship.
With only a small amount of stage lighting and limited seating, the show felt more as if we were collected inside an old friend’s lounge room, whiling away a lazy Sunday afternoon with good music and laughter. Two hours flew by and songs such as Playing With Pink Noise and Sunny Side appeared throughout two well-deserved encores. The real gem of the set, however, was the addition of Dan Brantigan on trumpet to accompany Zeitgeist; a haunting, melancholic tune perfect for rounding off an altogether gorgeous show.
Kaki King left thanking us profusely for our concentration and patience, though in truth it would have been difficult to not be charmed by such a captivating set.