Kissin’ Dynamite have over a decade’s worth of albums to their name, but the young Germans have managed to pass me by until I became aware their last album ‘Ecstasy’ was receiving rave reviews. Yet this sole UK date of a European tour attracted a very healthy crowd to the Underworld, on the back of a support slot for Powerwolf where it appears they won a large number of fans.
Their high energy stage show was apparent from the very start, singer Hannes Braun leading the chorus of ‘I’ve Got The Fire’ as his white shirt dripped with sweat within seconds, and to prove that was not a one off, ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’ with Jim Muller, one of two solid guitarists introducing it with a talk box, and ‘Love Me Hate Me’ were both just as catchy.
Bassist Steffen Haile was sporting a ‘bring back stadium rock’ t-shirt and the way Hannes commanded the audience, hands outstretched and constantly exhorting crowd participation, confirmed this ambition.
Sporting backcombed fair hair that called to mind Total Eclipse-era Bonnie Tyler, the singer has a somewhat glammy image but his band mates were more conventionally long haired and black clad with a bit of guyliner the only concessions to flamboyance.
Likewise their music covers a number of bases, pitched somewhere in a Bermuda triangle between the new wave of melodic rock, German power metal – with Edguy the most obvious comparison – and the hard rock crunch of fellow countrymen like Bonfire and Pink Cream 69.
‘DNA’ was at the heavier end of their spectrum, as was ‘Ecstasy’ when Exit Eden singer Anna Brunner came on to duet – as Hannes said, inverting the tradition that this format is more usually associated with ballads. She stayed on for ‘Sleaze Deluxe’ which I thought was a stronger tune.
There was then a break as they wheeled a grand piano onto this most cramped of stages from which Hannes accompanied by brother Ande on acoustic guitar played a lush ballad ‘Heart Of Stone’. ‘Sex Is War’ handily combined in the one song combined two of the most familiar metallic themes, and ‘Six Feet Under’ had a lighter feel with even some European folk influences in the mix.
There was more theatricality as a giant throne was brought on stage for Hannes to sit in, sporting regal robes and hamming it up in Mercurial (or is it Lambertian?) fashion prior to ‘I Will Be King’. It all added to a conundrum I have never been able to solve, which is why teutonic bands always seem to have such a sense of cheesy fun which is utterly at odds with the stereotype of the serious-minded German.
The first encore ‘You’re Not Alone’ was a massive and instantly catchy anthem and though ‘Flying Colours’ was less impressive the crowd were chanting along with the ‘who-oahs’. The crowning glory, praise be, was Hannes and two of his bandmates emulating the greatest German metallers of them all, The Scorpions, with a human pyramid.
It’s hard for a new band in this day and age to progress to stadium status, but after coming late to this particular party my first sight of Kissin’ Dynamite left little doubt that they have the charisma to be playing far bigger shows than this.
Review and photos by Andy Nathan
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