Queen Kwong aka Carré Calloway and band may not be new to the scene but they are one of the best-kept secrets in music. Discovered by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor when Carré was seventeen they have joined NIN on major tours. At the O2 Forum, they are opening for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and joining them on a range of the dates on their international tour.
Playing a five-song set we were treated to a snapshot of new album, Love Me to Death, a powerful mix of punk with sparse industrial elements all threaded through with Carre’s piercing vocals. Her influences are present in both her musical style and stage performance; hints of PJ Harvey, Babes in Toyland and The Stooges can be heard in tracks like Raptures and Bells On. Carre pounds her booted feet into the stage, quaking and twisting her long limbs and skidding across the front of the stage at eye level, knees akimbo wailing to the crowd.
On Happiest Day On Earth, she wows the audience with a death drop into her knees while she tears at her guitar, her hair cascading over the front of it. The full force of her energy is contagious, and her band are in a constant state of motion: The bass player kicking downwards, body tense. The lead guitarist, hair flying shaking out the power from the chords. The drummer a sublime free flow of red hair drawn away from her face with every hammer of her sticks. This kind of presence and charisma will draw fans to gigs, get ahead of the inevitable rush and take whatever chance you get to see Queen Kwong now.
Photography by Pauline Di Silvestro & Words by Sarah Sievers at Queen Kwong (supporting BRMC) at Forum, Kentish Town, 26th July 2018
Queen Kwong have two more dates in the UK
Mon 30th July UK, Glasgow, O2 Academy w/ BRMC
Tue 31st July UK, Manchester, Night & Day Café