Getting in the festival spirit with King Kong Company

King Kong Company.
King Kong Company.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell  – tribunegroove@live.ie

Making every gig feel like a festival, King Kong Company come to the Róisín Dubh this Saturday, December 2. The Waterford-based outfit bring the energy of dance music to a live setting and have enjoyed a bumper 2017. They played Glastonbury, Body & Soul and entertained more than 10, 000 punters at Electric Picnic.

That happened in the Electric Arena, which is the second biggest stage in Stradbally. This was a big occasion for the band – but while they were nervous, they didn’t panic.

“We did prepare slightly differently in that we had extra dancers with us, but apart from that not really,” says Tom Stapleton, who plays synthesisers with King Kong Company (KKC).

“It was just a matter of getting the set as tight as possible and practising as hard as possible. In the run-up, there were nerves – you know, you walk into a big tent and think ‘there’s no way we’re going to fill this’.”

The band needn’t have worried – over the past five years, seeing KKC at the Picnic has become a rite of passage. Word of mouth has made them a must-see festival act.

“It kind of happened naturally,” Tom says of this reputation. “We fell into the festivals early on, we were lucky that Body & Soul gave us a break at the Picnic. The first time we played there we had an amazing crowd.  And it just grew from there – rite of passage is a good way to put it. We were lucky, it was just there for us. I think the music we play, the energy of the show – it’s perfectly suited to a festival.”

King Kong Company made their Glastonbury debut this year, playing Worthy Farm the day after they’d headlined the Body & Soul festival.

“We literally walked off the Body & Soul stage at 2 o’clock, packed up all the gear and headed straight to the airport,” Tom says. “We got on a plane, flew to Bristol and drove down to Glastonbury. I remember arriving at Bristol airport thinking ‘I’m so tired, I’m never going to stay awake for this’. But we got in, it was a really nice day and I went to see a reggae band – I fell asleep for about an hour, and woke up refreshed! The rest of the day, adrenaline kept me going.”

Playing at Glastonbury was a feather in their cap, in terms of exposure.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.