Skip to main content

Kongos: Lunatic

Folk-thumping debut from hairy heirs of 70s pop star.

It’s easy to see the appeal of Kongos: chanty choruses, breathless rhythms and the kind of tribalist stomp to set festivals alight. In fact, so swiftly have they been embraced by the US that Come With Me Now became the fastest ever single from a debut artist to top Billboard’s Alternative Chart.

As befits the four sons of 70s hit-maker John Kongos (He’s Gonna Step On You Again/Tokoloshe Man), the siblings’ music has an international flavour, the product of South African roots, Greek heritage and homes in both Britain and the States.

But while it’s infectious, it tends to miss as much as it hits. At their best – I’m Only Joking, Hey I Don’t Know – they sound like a fusionist mix of Slim Chance and Mumford & Sons. At their worst… well, think Toploader. They might be slaying them elsewhere, but we’re going to take a bit more convincing.