I wanted to describe Groovie Mann, lead singer of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, as a seedy sorcerer when I started this review. And you know what? The adjective seedy crops up all over the place when reading about Thrill Kill Kult, so I feel a little redundant. But what the hell, that’s exactly what Groovie Mann is: a seedy sorcerer. And we Thrill Kill Kult fans love him just for that reason.
Thrill Kill Kult turns twenty-five years old this year – the tour is called Back From Beyond! 25th Anniversary Tour. The band’s released ten albums through the years and retained its founding members, Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy. The very name of the band intrigued and terrified me when I first saw it on some vinyl. Early Thrill Kill Kult albums were part of the Wax Trax! Records stable, a Chicago record label (Thrill Kill Kult was founded in Chicago) that was elite and charmingly industrial with acts such as KMFDM, Coil, Front 242 – and hard to peg drag queen super start Divine. Maybe most of the music sounded similar, but if it did it was different and because the industrial ilk came into its own with the help of this label. And of course lots of drugs. And other labels too, of course. First, Thrill Kill Kult created songs “Do You Fear (For Your Child)?,” “. . . And This is What the Devil Does!,” which must have had the first sampling ever of a song by The Rolling Stones in it; “Kooler Than Jesus,” and “Sex On Wheelz.” They didn’t stop there. I hope you didn’t lose them there.
So, anyway, back to me and what the show was like last month. I’m a Thrill Kill Kult fan but have only gotten to see the band once before. They toured with Lords of Acid a couple years ago and naturally I had to see that double bill. This time they had Beki Colada on vocals and The Warlocks’ bassist, Mimi Star. I enjoyed Colada’s performance and was intrigued by Star. And though I wish Buzz McCoy had come out from behind his keys a bit, Groovie Mann was one of the most shockingly compelling performers I have ever seen. He had perfect pace to his moves and slithery vocals. He also has a tattoo of a spider in his left armpit – now that is just tough. Songs “Sex On Wheelz,” “Days of Swine and Roses,” “Kooler Than Jesus,” “A Daisy Chain 4 Satan,” “Apollo 69” “Cadillac Square,” “Glamour is a Rocky Road,” “Sez Who” especially stood out that evening, but the set list made a good stab at including tracks from many Thrill Kill Kult albums.
The tour winds down over the next few days, and I’d encourage you to catch one of their shows. Long live Thrill Kill Kult. They are always cool.