Written by Nora Burke.
Mark Sultan tore up a storm at Divan Orange this past Friday night. Unsurprisingly, he seems to have amassed a cult following over the years; he is playing music for the sake of playing music and having a good time at it. Originally out of Montreal, now based in Berlin, he has performed and recorded with many different artists over the years, experimenting with punk rock, psychedelic, garage and even soul elements. His music is refreshingly difficult to compare to anything else in particular and his voice is always charged with emotion.
Barefoot and clad in a long purple robe and a turban, he walked on to take a seat centre-stage between his tambourine-attached three-piece drum-set, and a glistening beaded screen to complete the Oriental stage aesthetic. Silently and stoically he picked up his guitar and waited for the intermission music to stop. He opened his set with “I’ll be loving you”, and from one moment to the next his calm was transformed into a wild storm of fast-paced drumming, aggressively strummed power chords, head banging and singing.
The crowd was rowdy and sweaty, and managed to turn the tiny venue into a crowd-surfing infused moshpit. For the next hour and a half he kept up the intense raw rock n roll energy and stopped only twice: once to readjust the brick keeping his snare drum in place, and the second time to yell ‘sex et violence, c’est la meme chose! Let’s have fun, let’s dance!’
This one-man powerhouse is recording an album with King Khan later this month, and if at all interested in angry/fun music to jump around to, it will definitely be worth giving a listen to!
All photography by Negar Nakhai. All rights reserved.