King King Bring a One-Man Band to Pontypridd. An innovative one-man blues-rock band as Canadian Steve Hill returns to Wales with his ground-breaking setup. With the snare and bass drum played with his feet, rocking on his heels for the whole set. Then his guitars with a drumstick headstock to play the cymbal and hi-hat. All this while singing! and he is a great slide guitarist to boot. The guitar has an inbuilt Octavia effect which enables a bass line to blast out from two of his six strings. This is taking ambidexterity to a whole new level! This would be gimmicky if Steve was not such a superb player of drums and strings, with vocals that power out the lyrics. With his live album, One-man Blues Rock Band out we could hear the songs up close and personal. Damned and Dangerous showing the power of the delivery and his ability to play every aspect of the band bringing depths of texture and tone. Steve, generates a real hefty blues-rock sound, shut your eyes and you would not believe it was being played by one person With songs that have something to say he gets the message out there. Finishing his short opening set with a different take of the Hendrix classic Voodoo Chile. The only thing missing at times the energy that bands build when they interact, but this is so much more than a man and guitar what a start to a night of high expectations with King King headlining. That said no-one can argue that this was a wonderful innovative set from an award-winning performer, Steve Hill his own one-man blues-rock band.
King King, stepped on the stage at Muni to rapturous applause. With a smile from Alan, we were up and running with (She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’ from their last album, Exile and Grace. The crowd was hot this is live music that excites, creating a party atmosphere. The perfect Friday evening kick-start to the weekend ahead. The third number in and You stooped The Rain a song drenched in emotion dedicated to his brother Stevie. The opening guitar is stinging full of emotional outpouring then Alan’s vocals cut through the drums and keys with a blues-rock number that as a strong narrative. Always a King King highlight and we were being treated to this early in the set. The boys were really on fire this is a band that melds layers and layers of tones and textures that are set on fire by frontman Alan Nimmo. With new (well returning) as Jonny Dyke, had played with King King in the early days. He adds his own manipulation of the black and white keys his electronic piano playing was breathtaking. The Hammond organ is always spectacular adding cascades of chords to the music. As ever the longstanding rhythm section gives the engine room of King King thrust and drive. With Wayne Procter in control of his chosen set of drums and cymbals tonight. They are given a thorough work out from the Craviotto bass drum with a distinctive sound and his selection of Brady Drums. His drumming gave King King power and direction. Lindsay Coulson bass lines are always the grounding force of King King. Tonight was no different.
Tonight Alan, sang and played every song with the pure joy of being on stage playing to fans he was gleaming with energy and confidence, He delivered every note and we all fell in love with King King live once again. Tonight the band were sublime. And yes we are looking forward to welcoming him up the mountain at Steelhouse.
We had some King King funk with All Your Life we were dancing and bouncing with pure delight. we were delighted to get funky in Pontypridd tonight. Joining in was pure fun. Wow, Broken works so well live the whole band integrated hitting that perfect point it was stunning and full of yearning, hopelessness and pathos. Two signature numbers that reflect the facets of King King. Long History of Love and Rush Hour. Long History, with Alan’s emotive vocals reflected by Jonny’s Hammond. Whilst Rush Hour is belted out with real power by Alan, the bad and the crowd when asked to participate.
The set was superb with personal favourites scattered through the evening, as this is the Exile & Grace Tour many tracks were heard from this acclaimed album. Long Time Running is destined to become another King King favourite with the crowds the mix of piano, drums and bass fuel the energy for Alan’s vocals.
Closing the set with Stranger To Love. This long elegant number is always a crowd pleaser and the fans love the high and very low tones of the guitar (what a pity the crowd just would not stop the hum of noise). Alan did his best with a shrug he picked up the number and played it out. When they played loud it was fine but the mumble in quieter moments is infuriating. Alan as very thanked the audience for coming out and keeping music live. Yes, but if you want to talk go outside. Most of us want to hear every note played the loud and those quieter special moments as the volume goes down. That said, tonight was an amazing night of live music, played by a band at the top of their game. It was no surprise that the whole of the Muni went wild as the last note faded. Nobody wanted the night to end.
Then the band were back for the encore Let Love In. What a finale we all let our love of live music and King King in tonight. A brilliant start to a promised sunny Bank Holiday weekend, music that uplifts and fills the audience with pure pleasure as King King fills the Muni with their special brand of blues-rock that touches your soul