King King Live 2015
12th November 2015
King King the main event delivered a massive attack of rocking blues they blew the socks off everyone sat in the auditorium of The Artrix, who cheered, joined in and even danced despite the seats proving that the music could not be ignored. First, though let’s wind the clock back to the beginning.
The Artrix is a modern box on the outside, inside is a warm welcome from helpful staff a hot coffee from the bar welcomed on a wet and blowy evening – Storm Abigail may have been swirling outside, inside was light and bright. The welcoming atmosphere was warmed with the sounds of SongStars, the show choir of the venue with three generations spanning 5-whatever age you want to be performing in a choir with a selection of cheerful songs that set the mood for the doors opening and an evening of electric guitars, and vocals.
Ben Poole and his band took to the stage opening with a real favourite Lets Go Up Stairs, hitting the ground running with bluesy lead breaks that seared through the sell-out auditorium, literally packed to the rafters. It is the rhythm section that lays down the grove thanks to the combination Craig Bacon’s drumming and bassist Matt Beable that allows Ben to explore the power of the six-strings in the lead breaks that grow in complexity. The clean and pure theatre sound suits his style of playing and the wooden façade on each tier of The Artrix warmed the sound. There was nothing clinical about his playing tonight, there was passion and fire as he interacted with audience and band. Ben Poole’s tribute to Gary Moore was the stand out moment the guitar work was exuding the essence of Gary Moore as the first chords of Holding On to Love hit home, full of emotion that made the guitar weep. Ben is growing in stature, he is a blues guitarist who writes songs with meaning that weave in influences so we have funk, country twang and sometimes a glimmer of solid rock making him stand out in the crowd.
After a short break where the women laughed – for once the long queue was for the gents and not the ladies, the music was back on the stage with King King landing on the stage with a smile and a hefty wallop of the sound that is King King. It is distinctive mind curling delight of blues running through a tasty stick of aurally delightful rock! They may have played Lose Control, but that is something this band never does Alan Nimmo the ‘quiet unassuming’ kilted vocalist/guitarist up front has the audience warming to him with his pithy observations, ready smile and a guitar that sings in perfect harmony to his lyrical vocals that caress the words filling them with emotion. Another night on tour, and a sell-out once again, even though they have not played Bromsgrove before their reputation is growing hardly surprising with three fabulous albums especially Reaching For the Light, Bluesdoodles said ..album of platinum proportions.. Tonight we heard tracks that prove a studio album sounds even better when the music is live and you can see, feel and hear up close and personal. King King the quartet that has a cascade of sounds with layers of tonal textures thanks to Wayne Proctor’s drumming and clever use of cymbals and shading of sound from his drum kit whilst adding the rhythm is Lindsay Coulson on bass this is the back line that adds the dark colours to many a song. Then to the left of Alan is the mighty Hammond organ and piano played with panache by Bob Fridezma and adding a richness to the torrent that is the music of King King. Every song has the finishing touch with the sparkling vocals of Alan, he can whip up a frenzy, make you cry, laugh and definitely makes you want to get up and dance it is the infection that is King King live.
You Stopped The Rain is a moving song dedicated to his brother Stevie a cancer survivor and to everyone touched by the awful disease this is no maudlin track full of self-doubt and reflection it is about power that drives a person too overcome full of hope and energy. Frankie Miller’s Jealousy, was given the Nimmo treatment and his voice rose above the musicians, through the auditorium music that is totally absorbing. We heard so many wonderful King King songs on the night including You Drive me Crazy, a single off their latest album Reaching For the Light, that has had lots of airplay on Planet Rock, and Hurricane a suitable night when especially Scotland is going to be hit by Storm Abigail. Then there was for me the highlight of the evening; A Stranger To Love; this was a display of the interplay between the band, Alan’s vocals and the guitar work as he stood out front, turned the volume down and down until it was just the sound of the strings heard across the hall as The Artrix’s acoustics took up the sound and bounced and weaved them around the walls. The audience spellbound in appreciation were collectively quiet as a church mouse. Then the volume rose and a crescendo flowed… wow music that is stunning.
Tonight Bromsgrove rocked to the R&B that defines King King; they came, played and conquered. Yes there was an encore with lots of joyous audience participation, Let Your Love Shine; the love for King King definitely was felt tonight.