Khartoum at the troubadour:  

By Holly Young

‘Where’s the bass player?’

As if on cue, bassist Jake storms into the room, still tying his leopard-print shirt at the sleeves. Unfazed, he takes his position onstage alongside his blonde-haired companions.

‘We’re KHARTOUM,’ lead singer Oscar announces beneath his curly golden locks. He’s dressed in a red Freddie Mercury style jacket, standing feet apart, a wide stance. Rock ‘n’ roll is no funny business.

As the guitar riff begins, the crowd have already started moving, and as the drums punch out a sexy beat, everybody is on their feet.

KHARTOUM describe their sound as ‘psychedelic indie-rock’. It has a definite old-school rock feel - heavy on guitar with a persistent drum rhythm. Yet the voices are soft and breathy with layers of harmonies. Think Pink Floyd meets Queen. The Doors meets The War on Drugs. An exciting new sound.

We go from irresistibly catchy ‘Get out of the City’ with its flavoursome guitar melodies and energetic rhythms to a more laid-back harmonic ‘Scars of a Girl’, rich and atmospheric. Lead guitarist Cam provides skilled guitar work throughout, filling the music with interest, while lead singer and co-writer Oscar’s eccentric stage presence fills the room with energy. Each individual artist adds their own levels to each piece, a cacophony of brilliance. An impressive performance from these four angelic blonde boys and their fiercely cool female drummer.

KHARTOUM plans to professionally record their EP next month while they carry on spreading their unique sound. Things are looking good for the band, who until a few months ago had never played outside the bedroom, and since then have already gigged in multiple venues across London and Paris and have been approached by major music labels. 

With skilled musicians, charismatic characters and a distinctive style, the only direction for KHARTOUM is out of the city and on the road to success.

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© Helicon Magazine 2019

University of Bristol