Evil Empire OrchestraPsychedelic / Soul / Funk
Belgium’s Evil Empire Orchestra presents an eccentric cross-over of psychedelia, soul jazz and garage funk. The components? The untamed raw soul vocals and mystical fire of singer Kimberly Dhondt and the pulverising thrust and godless grooves of her seven-man band.
Dhondt’s voice is a mix of Beth Gibbons and Janis Joplin. Pure, uncompromising energy. The tight rhythm section and the sensual bass move your heart as well as your legs, and the compact three-piece brass section adds its own unique tone. Since the release of Evil Empire Orchestra’s debut EP in the autumn of 2017, the pace has picked up. The band was immediately invited to perform on Dutch daily talk show De Wereld Draait Door, delivering an incomparably compelling live set. They followed this with a huge club tour and a packed festival season in Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2017, the group played over 25 festival shows, including highlight festivals such as Sniester, Life I Live and Appelpop.
In the autumn of 2018, the Belgian formation flew east for a fortnight tour of China, where they were greeted with open arms. Between gigs, the band also spent time at Amsterdam’s Electric Monkey studio to record its debut album Start a Fire,
Evil Empire Orchestra on Start a Fire: “This album is a protest song. Start a Fire. The issues that anger society rage within us. We light a fire under conventional values and play free. Inspired by raw passion and twentieth-century grooves. We demand dialogue. With fire and vibes. In your ears and legs, singing and playing, trance and sweat. Back to the primitive and the pure. An undiluted scream for sustainability and justice.”