For a third consecutive year King Dude comes to Greece, carrying with him his eerie ensemble and his love for the Greek public. Gradually gaining fans in Greece, this year’s gig is expected to be as dramatic as the previous ones.
Seattle’s King Dude (aka Thomas Jefferson Cowgill) is a peddler storyteller who sings stories of loneliness wrapped in gloomy darkness, by combining a melodic but sometimes strong Rock, in the Nick Cave style, embellished with Folk and Country tunes.
But this is an extra-terrestrial and often demonic combination, carrying scenes of unspeakable horror and tragedy of the kind that lurks silently in the dark forests or the deserted highways of America: stories of death, abandonment, cold loneliness, fear, sung with a traditional Folk-Blues way that turns into Rock hell that finally create the most desolate version of Americana we have ever heard.
And yet ... In this pitch dark environment, King Dude invites us to discover with him the supreme light through a spiritual process that is the listening to his music and the theatrical Goth way he sings. The heartless murderous characters of the songs, the undead monsters and the lovers of demons simply compose the ancient Greek Chorus that moves marginally between performer and spectator and denotes the origins of each different drama King Dude recounts. He becomes the medium of purification and reconciliation with the internal demons that fill our inner selves until this spiritualistic coexistence is completed with our personal catharsis.
Drawing parallels with Greek tragedy is not accidental as King Dude draws inspiration on various mythologies and one of his beloved heroes is Prometheus, the bearer of light to humans. As a Luciferianist, King Dude constantly seeks the redemption that will bring to his soul the light of truth, whether is brought by Prometheus or Lucifer. As we all know, the search for this truth is not an easy task as the light bearers themselves were sentenced either to fall inside the flaming bowels of the earth or to have their guts eaten, as it happens to many of us who find life unbearable.
However, the antagonism between darkness and light in King Dude’s work does not exist in reality. The one precedes the other but combined they compose the same mental state. As Kundera says, "good" cannot exist without consciousness of what is “evil” as the story of the protoplasts teaches us: they had to eat the forbidden fruit, the fruit of truth, to realize what they were about to lose. Luciferianists, do not worship Satan, as many might think, but instead they consider him as a symbol of enlightenment. As such, Lucifer guides humankind towards independence, personal self-improvement and the will to have a positive impact on the immediate environment through the ability to distinguish “bad” from “good”, without the mediation of a punitive theocracy. Art, science, the natural world, freedom of the will and the internal search are the means to achieve the highest spirituality, that has to be achieved in this life, but even then no one should remain content of reaching the target since knowledge and understanding still remain incomplete, fluid and questioned.
This is the framework of ideas in which King Dude invites his listeners to participate. And he seeks participation either one listens to his music at home (by giving them instructions on how to keep the lyrics in front of the mirror in order to read them), or in live performances and the mysticism surrounding them. In either case, we are meant to put up with our internal demons until we understand that they are nothing more but the conditions we have created for protecting ourselves: our demons are our guardian angels. Even in the case that the song we hear reminds us that fateful Lilith-like woman who covered us with love, only in order to make us willingly offer our blood to her to drink and then drove us in the coffin in which we were closed.
Of all the favorite and famous names that have already begun and will continue to come in our country this summer, the appearance of King Dude on June 10 is definitely more than just a concert. It will be a transcendental experience, and in this respect for me it will be the more interesting live performance than all those already advertised. On stage he will be joined by the equally good and dark Of The Wand & The Moon, from Denmark and our own The Road Miles, promising an unforgettable Goth night, an ideal prelude for the approaching solstice.
Musical Style: Goth Country, Dark Folk, Southern Gothic
Organization: 3 Shades of Black
Performers: King Dude, Of The Wand & The Moon (special guest), The Road Miles (opening)
Venue: Second Skin Club (Damocleous 8, Gazi, Athens)
Date: Fridey 10th June, 2016
Tickets: 15€ (advance), 18€ (cashier)
- Wikipedia, The Guardian, All Music, rockinathens.gr, rcrdmagazine.com, vice.com, cvltnation.com, avopolis.gr