Karin Park at The Lexington
On a cramped, dark stage on the upper level of The Lexington, Karin Park’s set opens with a hooded figure in white robes centre-stage, barking into the microphone over the top of a compilation of what sounds like religious chanting. Already there are mixed feelings about what’s to come.
Her movements are mechanical as she belts out 6000 Years, but at the end of the dramatic intro the audience are not sure if they’re meant to laugh or not. As Park becomes more at ease she breaks robotic character, and a sultrier, more seductive persona shines through for the hit, Restless. The crowd is responsive, and cheers and sways to the rhythm of the electronic beats in a trance-like state.
The intimate venue and minimalistic dais truly allow Parker and her drummer brother, Dave Parker to showcase their abilities. Apart from the introduction, there are no gimmicks – just two musicians and their instruments. Musically, their sound is unparalleled. You simply can’t compare a recording of Red Horses to their live performance. It screams sex appeal, and that mesmerizing “do-did-id-do” chorus will stay with you for hours afterwards.
Keytar and drum solos during Out of the Cage are energetically executed, but at times it seems as though the pair are unaware of the staging necessary to keep the audience engaged. The siblings connect really well – so much so that it feels as though you may be intruding on a personal moment; for the better half of the number the audience is staring at the back of Karin’s head.
The duo is seated for all of Tension so that only those at the lip of the stage can see what’s going on. But they’re going for a calming, slow-paced tone, so you can appreciate the effort at the very least.
Despite minor technical shortcomings, the tracks chosen for the set from her two most recent albums, Highwire Poetry and Ashes to Gold are edgy and intriguingly performed with an encore of her favourite tune, Bending Albert’s Law that’s worth sticking around for.
For further information about Karin Park and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Restless here: