This is the second time that I have seen Khushi live, and I have noticed a funny vibe at his shows. I am not sure if I would call it a smugness, but there is a rich sense of self congratulation in the air. Very often London is cast into a frenzy about a new band. Their shows sell out. Their name is on the end of the tongue of every self respecting music show-off and they will have just about every blogger claiming early dibs on recognising their genius - regardless of whether they’re actually crap or not. Once in a while someone comes along who get all of this, the chatter, the bodies at shows, and the words on screens, except that are different - they’re actually good. Khushi. Is. Good.
I saw him in Electrowerkz in promotion of his new EP - Phantoms. It is his second major release after his first single - Magpie. I have shown both songs to probably 10 people, and I don’t think that a single one of them has not gone home and bought it themselves. Lead singer and songwriter, Kalim Patel, writes indie songs that will satisfy those looking for something contemporary (cool - with its electro elements), but the relatable. The infectious and swelling choruses will net the rest.
It is a dreamy experience watching Khushi live. One of the things that makes his music so good on record is what also makes him fantastic live - the energy of the songs. You are not allowed to become complacent for a moment, with the tempo moving quickly between minimalistic and groovy, to rushing and euphoric. I don’t think the effect was lost on anyone.
The club bangers were left until last when we were played the first single Magpie and the title track of the current EP, Phantoms. They were brilliant, but by no means in a different class to his other songs. There are no time fillers. A lot of music will fail to become big because it comes at the wrong time, or doesn’t tick all of the right boxes for labels. Khushi makes music that people enjoy listening to - while also making them feel a bit more special, and “in the know” than the Beyoncé track that preceded it did. Join the party. It’s good.