Harpenden Public Halls 19th May 2017
The Scots are famous for many things: whisky, throwing a New Year's party, The Loch Ness Monster, bagpipes; and that's just the tip of their musical accomplishments. The Scottish have long given the world some of the greatest musicians: Annie Lennox, Del Amitri, Alex Harvey, Paolo Nutini, Lulu, Travis, Deacon Blue, Jack Bruce, KT Tunstall, the list is simply endless and King King are another name to add to that long musical legacy.
Lead singer Alan Nimmo flies his tribal flag from the outset wearing a kilt, marking himself out as the Braveheart Of Blues. In just a few years the band have made a colossal impact on the blues rock scene. The songs are gloriously melodic and catchy, interspersed with virtuoso guitar solos that would make Joe Bonamassa and Eric Gales blush with envy.
The set shaped up with a variety of blues and soul influenced tracks from across their albums, from the 70s infused sounds of She Don't Gimme No Loving to the emotive tribute for Nimmo's brother, You Stopped The Rain. Heavy Load honours the band's influences with a cover of the Free song that stands alongside the original with ease and their passion is unrivaled and contagious.
The majority of the audience were well versed with their music, but Nimmo initiated the newbies with a suavely cool "welcome to the party. " Such was the enthusiasm of the audience and the band you felt that this was a gig that could have gone on well into the night (I told you the Scots knew how to throw a party) A Long History Of Love, Crazy and the funny All Your Life called to mind elements of Fleetwood Mac, Ace and even Whitesnake, further drawing on their retro-tinged sound.
An astonishing live version of Stranger To Love was a jaw-dropping example of King King's symbiosis as a band but also Alan's astonishing abilities as a front man. Bob Fridzema on keys and Hammond organ adds an extra special touch to the magic of the band, playing with dexterity and skill, even adding his vocals to some songs.
The acoustics in the hall may not be the best for this style of music, but the sound guys manage to produce a quality tone at just the right volume for the band. Hats off for that.
Award winning, acclaimed, King King are one of the few bands that actually live up to the hype.