Attention Blues Rock fans. If you are looking something new to dig those senses into, look no further than four piece ‘King King’. A relatively new blues-rock influenced group hailing from Glasgow.
Now when I say relatively new, they’re debut album ‘Take My Hand’ was released back in 2011. So they are no strangers to the music scene, having racked up years’ worth of experience playing all across the UK and Europe, ‘King King’ have been showcasing their music the most effective way possible, by cranking those amps up and letting their songs roar into the faces of those all too willing to have their ear drums excessively shaken in return for moments of melodic pleasure.
Before I go any further, I know there are some out there that have a longing for the already popular, the critically acclaimed and the tried, tested and proven bands out there. Those who want to wait and see service medals pined on their uniforms before taking the gamble and spending your hard-earned cash on a ticket to see them live. So I’ll take a few moments to list the awards ‘King King’ have already won to help those of you that are wondering.
- ‘Best Band’ 2012, 2013, 2014 – British Blues Awards
- ‘Best Album’ 2012 for ‘Take My Hand’ – British Blues Awards
- ‘Best Album’ 2014 for ‘Standing In The Shadows’ – British Blues Awards
- ‘Best Album’ 2016 for ‘Reaching For The Light’ – British Blues Awards
- ‘Best Song’ 2016 for ‘Rush Hour’ – British Blues Awards
- British Blues Awards Hall Of Fame Inductees – Best Band
So already by now, if you are a fan of the blues, you’ll need to read no further. You will have seen that list of honours from the British Blues Awards and began googling when they are next playing here in Belfast…that’ll be this September 11th in the Ulster Hall by the way, tickets for which go on sale January 26th! A night which is sure to go down as a real treat, as they will be here backing up the legendary ‘Europe’ on their ‘Walk The Earth’ world tour.
Now, for those of you still swaying on that big old wooden fence, let me refer you to a few songs, surely after listening to some of their hits you’ll be convinced.
First up, off their latest album ‘Exile & Grace’, songs such as ‘(She Din’t) Gimme No Lovin’, ‘Long Time Running’ and ‘Tear It Up’, will give you a real sense of their sharp, riff driven, classic blues-rock sound. One guarantee I can make is that you will always encounter powerful vocals from the kilt wearing Alan Nimmo. His voice is a constant force on every track you’ll come across. It’s commanding enough to thunder out their catchy chorus’, bringing us to rocking highs, far from lost amongst the riffs blasting out around him, then in direct contrast, like the flick of a switch, can bring us right back down with smooth vocals, keeping that storytelling bluesy flow alive. Not a bad equilibrium I’m sure you’ll agree.
Beyond their latest tracks, I’ll now aim you in the direction of their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Take My Hand’. It’s an album packed to the brim with great songs, however rather than go into their original tracks, let me instead share with you their stunning covers. ‘Mr Highway Man’ by none other than the legendary ‘Howlin’ Wolf’ gets brought to light once more in what is nothing less than blues ecstasy, featuring some beautifully played harmonica by Giles King.
Another cover that must be mentioned is their version of the Eric Clapton/Robert Ray collaboration ‘Old Love’. It is on this track you’ll get a real sense of Alan Nimmo’s masterful skills on the guitar, with what can only be described as quite simply, an outstanding solo.
Hopefully by now you’ve decided to give them a listen and seen what I’m talking about here. They are a band moving away from the ‘cult’ following label and firmly into the mainstream, as more and more people become aware of their invasion on the music scene, realising that King King are without question one of the most exciting, must see live, blistering blues acts around at the moment. Niall Donnelly.
King King will support Europe in the Ulster Hall, Belfast this September. Buy tickets here.