Gig review: KING KING/Sari Schorr – Manchester Academy, 15 February 2019

KING KING - Manchester Academy, 15 February 2019

Is it really 10 years?  King King’s progress over the last decade has been fully chronicled by Get Ready to ROCK! from their tentative blues rock debut album in 2011 to the more mainstream rocking ‘Exile & Grace’.  And, in truth, ahead of other media.  (Thank you, Pete Feenstra).

Alan Nimmo seems genuinely humbled by the wider attention the band has picked up in recent years.  Here was a chance, tonight, to mark another chapter of the band’s history, say farewell to bassist Lindsay Coulson, and luxuriate in a full set rather than the truncated festival or support slots – most recently with Swedish rockers Europe.

SARI SCHORR - Manchester Academy, 15 February 2019

In fact, we could have done with a longer set from Sari Schorr.  40 minutes flew by – small maybe but perfectly formed – and mainly focused on the latest ‘Never Say Never’ album.

SARI SCHORR - Manchester Academy, 15 February 2019

There was a definite feeling that we were short changed.  She sparred off an excellent band, with Ash Wilson on guitar, powering through some excellent ballsy material including ‘Damn The Reason’, ‘Thank You’ and ‘King Of Rock And Roll’.  (Check out Andy Nathan’s account of her showcase gig at London’s 100 Club).

Fortunately, Sari will be playing more dates in the UK in her own right in March/April  (see below).

KING KING - Manchester Academy, 15 February 2019

King King are a band that have also featured prominently on our radio station – and indeed their lifespan is the same.  I had relished the chance of seeing the band in late 2017 at my local venue but sadly several dates were cancelled due to Alan Nimmo’s vocal issues.

Now thankfully fully recovered, this gig was a real showcase for his powerful and soulful delivery.  Trawling the band’s four studio albums, the emphasis is always on song craftsmanship and if, at times, the influences are worn clearly on the sleeve the material is always delivered with both spirit and panache.

KING KING - Manchester Academy, 15 February 2019

The most impactful tunes were perhaps understandably the handful of singles, not least ‘Crazy’, ‘Rush Hour’  and ‘You Stopped The Rain’.  But there were more poignant moments too, aside from a reference to fellow Scot the late Ted McKenna, when Alan dedicated ‘Find Your Way Home’ to mums and dads in the audience (of which there were a few it has to be said).

Alan reminds me of a latter-day, electric, John Martyn – an engaging Scot with a big personality whose musicality shines through.

KING KING - Manchester Academy, 15 February 2019

Nimmo’s guitar prowess was evident throughout, sometimes economical but incendiary when necessary (the pivotal ‘Stranger To Love’ and ‘Take A Look’) and with a delightful tendency to pick out delicate motifs beautifully echoed by Jonny Dyke on keyboards (and the almighty Hammond organ).  But, of course, his vocals were also top notch aided by an excellent sound mix.

Surely, the next album will firmly cement King King as first division rock contenders.  They deserve it.

Setlist: 1.  Broken 2. Lose Control 3. Rush Hour 4. Heed The Warning 5. Coming Home (Rest Your Eyes) 6. Stranger To Love 7. Waking Up 8.(She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’ 9. Take A Look 10. Crazy 11. You Stopped The Rain 12. Find Your Way Home Encore: 13. Take My Hand 14. Old Love
Sari Schorr setlist: The New Revolution 2. Damn The Reason 3. Ready For Love 4. King Of Rock And Roll 5. Thank You 6. Never Say Never 7. Maybe I’m Foolin’ 8. Valentina

Review and photos by David Randall

Gig review (King King, 7 February 2019)
Gig review (Sari Schorr, 18 January 2019)

SARI SCHORR March/April 2019

Mar 6 Wed – Vonnies Blues Club, Cheltenham
Mar 7 Thu – Eel Pie Club, Twickenham
Mar 8 Fri – Sedgefield Blues Club, Sedgefield
Mar 9 Sat – Oran Mor, Glasgow
Mar 10 Sun – Cafe Drummonds, Aberdeen
Mar 15 Fri – The Boom Boom Club, Sutton
Mar 16 Sat – The Citadel, St. Helens

Apr 2 Tue – The Beaverwood Club, Chislehurst
Apr 3 Wed – Heartbreakers, Southampton
Apr 6 Sat – The Iron Road, Pershore
Apr 7 Sun – The Hawth, Crawley
Apr 10 Wed – The Robin 2, Bilston
Apr 11 Thu – The Live Rooms,  Chester
Apr 12 Fri – New Crawdaddy Club, Basildon


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 13 May (Mon-Fri)

WARM RAIN Here Comes The Rain Again (Rain Recordings)
DARWIN Cosmic Rays (indie)
MICHAEL THOMPSON BAND Love & Beyond (Frontiers)
MARQUIS DRIVE Shine On (indie)
YOUR LIFE & MINE Remind To Remember (indie)
EMERALD SUN What becomes Of You (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 13 May (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JIM PETERIK WORLD STAGE Winds Of Change (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 WHITESNAKE Flesh & Blood (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BUFORD POPE The Waiting Game (Unchained Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

NEVER THE BRIDE Surprise (2005)



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