Bath has never been a hot bed for rock/blues gigs but tonight the temperature rose to fever pitch when King King arrived in town and shook the Georgian buildings to their very foundations.
After the issues that Alan Nimmo has had in 2017 with his voice, playing AC/DC Highway To Hell over the PA as an intro seemed ironic and more than a little tongue in cheek as the band filed onto stage. This small tour is in support of the sublime Exile & Grace, the band’s strongest and rockiest output to date.
As it happens the jovial Nimmo is in fine voice – rich, soulful and often hypnotic – and, firing off the riff to ‘(She Don’t) Give Me No Loving’, it was a cue for the crowd to get dancing.
‘You Stopped The Rain’, written about and dedicated to his big brother Steve who was on guitar tech duties tonight, also gave Alan a chance to flex his Strat with an extended solo at the end of the song.
Setlist stalwarts ‘Waking Up’, ‘Lose Control’ and ‘Rush Hour’ made an appearance but the tour de force tonight was a stupendous ‘Stranger To Love’ as the band takes the volume right down. The crowd fell silent with Nimmo picking notes from his silent Les Paul as an astounded crowd watched on. I won’t have been the only one holding my breath in a solo that dripped feel and emotion, truly a masterclass.
New keys player Jonny Dyke slots in well and looks as though he has always been there, comfortably trading chops on the Hammond with Nimmo alongside the rock solid rhythm section of Wayne Proctor and Lindsay Coulson.
The engagement with the audience is often and endearing, sometimes preventing Alan (in his own words) from swearing a thousand times a night due to the two pre-teens front stage centre who have beamed all evening.
The wider appeal of KK has grown rapidly with the release of Exile & Grace and rightly so, the first encore ‘Find Your Way Home’ evidencing again top notch songwriting and commercial appeal.
King King are reaping the benefits of hard work and constant touring, and in spite of their late-2017 setback are back on full form with their genial frontman and a busy year ahead. There’s really no excuse for abstaining from their onward and upward progress.
Review and photos by Darren Griffiths
Album review (and interview)
April-June UK Tour Dates
* special guest, Steve Hill
Worcester, Huntingdon Hall Saturday 14 April
Sheffield, HRH Festival Sunday 15 April
Aberdeen, The Lemon Tree Friday 20 April
Darvel, Town Hall Saturday 21 April
*Hastings, St. Mary in The Castle Thursday 3 May
*Pontypridd, Muni Arts Centre Friday 4 May
*Southampton, The 1865 Saturday 5 May
*Liverpool, Epstein Theatre Thursday 10 May
Whitley Bay, Playhouse Friday 11 May
Clitheroe, The Grand Saturday 12 May
*Chester, The Live Rooms Thursday 17 May
*Leeds, Brudenell Social Club Friday 18 May
*Holmfirth, The Picturedome Saturday 19 May
*Frome, Cheese & Grain Saturday 26 May
*Exeter, The Phoenix Arts Centre Sunday 27 May
*Bilston, Robin 2 Thursday 31 May
*Bury St. Edmunds, The Apex Friday 1 June
*Newport, Rock 7 Blues Festival Saturday 2 June
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Power Plays w/c 15 October 2018
BIRDSONG AT MORNING Waterfall (Blue Gentian Records)
GUN RUNNERS Save Our Souls (indie)
THE BUZNIKS Nail It To The Floor (3MS Music)
NAZARETH The Secret Is Out (Frontiers)
CITY OF THIEVES Fuel And Alcohol (Frontiers)
Featured Albums w/c 15 October (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 STEVE PERRY Traces (BMG)
12:00-13:00 URIAH HEEP Living The Dream (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BIRDSONG AT MORNING Signs And Wonders (Blue Gentian Records)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
18:00-19:00 STEVE MORSE/SARAH SPENCER Angelfire (2010)
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