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Chikinki - why the Ether Radio boys are worth tuning into


Feature: Jack Foley

BRISTOL five-piece, Chikinki, appear to be fusing guitars, electronics and a cocksure rock’n’roll swagger to make a name for themselves, determined to get away from the retro-focused outlook on a lot of modern bands.

They describe their sound as ‘fast-forward pop, playful and passionate’, which is ‘music that dares to dream’.

The band is comprised of Rupert Browne, 24,on vocals, Steve Bond, 25, on drums, Ed East, 24, on guitar, Boris Ecton, 24, on keyboards, and Trevor Wensley, 24, also on keyboards.

When it comes to song-writing, they compose high-voltage anthems of lust, despair, excess, paranoia and euphoria.

Tracks range from achingly sad alt-folk ballads, to body-popping beatbox grooves.

Needless to say, it is an attitude which has earned them a tag of being a young band to watch.

All in their mid-twenties, Chikinki came together from wildly different roots.

Singer, Rupert Browne, spent his teens in London, witnessing first hand the peak years of Britpop, drum’n’bass and techno.

Meanwhile, Steve Bond gave up a career in Formula One race-car design to drum for the band, and guitarist, Ed East, left behind a military up-bringing.

Chikinki also have two keyboard players, Boris Ecton and Trevor Wensley, who add scrambled rhythms and space-rock dynamics to the band’s already crowded musical melting pot.

Chance and destiny threw all five members of Chikinki together, in Bristol, in the late 1990s.

Arriving from the scattered corners of Britain, they ended up sharing a house in the city’s Bedminster district. Chikinki Heights remains the band’s nerve centre, home base and DIY recording studio.

And without wanting to sound immodest, Chikinki maintain they have arrived to stop the rot in British rock, to ‘trash the party and sex up the dossier’.

With new album, Lick Your Ticket, they feel they have produced the ‘super-eclectic, hyper-kinetic, boundlessly inventive album of the year’.

"This is our Going Out record," explains Boris. "The last one was our Staying In record."

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