And never hath there been a more loyal and capable support on many a round stage for any king than from the knights in his fine band, Le Rex. Pepe, aka Simon Hari, is foremost an entertainer and poet-musician all wrapped into one royal mantle. He and his vassals morph freely from style to outrageous style with a scurrilous repertory and a rich sound that’s performed primarily with drums, cross flute, sax, brawny trombone and which replaces the guitar with robust horns. It’s clearly all audible in their 2014 «70% Wasser». Grand and enjoyable, it’s an album very much made for his Untertanen to enjoy. Add to that the showman’s penchant for exploding into a sudden salto mortale, from standing position no less, further adding to his fame and expanding his rule all across the land.
The lyrics turn the king into his own court jester at times and are communicated in Bernese dialect and English. They’re all about life and its idiosyncrasies and they can rise from the deepest dungeon of despair to the Holy Grail of hit-making, fast and furious and often, uuh, funny. With «We all go to Heaven in a little rowboat» he makes you want to join him in his rickety boat. In the song «Doof isch aendlos» (Stupid has no limits) from the album «70% Wasser» he raises his scepter and informs us «I bi 70% Wasser / dr Raescht isch glaub Schtoub» (I’m 70% water and the rest I believe is dust). Just don’t mix the two. Other unquestionable highlights are «Someone falls in love / someone from a tree». Merlin the wizard would have been proud of this sorcerer of the word. Actually so would Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed.
On your knees, commoners. The king is rolling in.