Jazz Cafe, London, May 06, 2015 • Reviewed by Charlie Ingram
Back in the Jazz Cafe, Camden (which is very quickly becoming one of my favorite venues) for yet an other round of blues treatment. This time King King, on tour launching their 3rd album, Reaching for the Light, stormed the stage with slick licks and hard riffs.
The group, formed of four great and talented musicians in their own right, have gone from strength to strength in the last few years with their own brilliant take on blues and rock. Despite their straying from slightly more traditional sounds, it doesn’t detract from the band's brilliance. In fact, their originality is part of the appeal. Alan Nimmo (guitar and vocals) is unique in that he’s the only "fat arsed Glaswegian in a kilt" (his words!), to my knowledge, that goes on tour playing blues.
Alongside the unusual apparel (and accent) is of course the music. Definitely more of an evolution than departure from tradition, the chords, scales, in fact all the basics are there but with a more modern form. Listening to songs like 'Hurricane' and 'Rush Hour (Reaching for the Light)' there are stylistic similarities to other more recent groups and artists like Joe Bonamassa. They’re heavy, with strong rhythms and plenty of power chords but, of course, with the melodic subtleties that would be expected of the winners of British Blues “Best Band”… three years in a row.
Hardly a one trick pony, heavy blues rock is only a part of their repertoire. Also from the new album, 'Take a Look' is far more low tempo but quite intense, possibly drawing on the Red Hot Chili Peppers for some of the motifs. 'You Stopped the Rain' with funky rhythms and chords fits in nicely with the rest of album too. Other songs came from their previous two albums, Take My Hand and Standing in the Shadows. 'Lose Control' really stood out and for any fan of the Rolling Stones it will be a favorite.
Brilliant solos from Nimmo on lead and Bod Fridzema on keys throughout the set were a great display of musical talent and soul, and not forgetting Wayne Proctor on drums and Lindsay Coulson on bass.
King King are only going to grow bigger.