Friday 20th February 2015
Drill Hall in Lincoln, UK
Review & Photography by Mark Holmes
Scooping top accolades in the British Blues Awards since 2012, including winners in the 'Best Band' category for the last three years, it's fair to say that blues rock outfit King King have been garnering some serious attention from the scene since their inception five or so years ago. And it seems that recognition has translated prosperously into healthy presales for their 2015 UK tour, with a number of the shows sold out in advance. Lincoln's Drill Hall, the second date, is no exception, with 550 eager punters rammed into the venue to witness King King's blues rock mastery.
With a no-frills stage set and just the venue's curtain hung behind them, it's almost a bold statement of visual minimalism where, tonight, it'd be the music taking centre stage. And that's precisely what transpires over the course of an hour and three quarters set that sees the band mix up established favourites with newer, as-yet-unreleased tracks from forthcoming new album, 'Reaching for the Light'. The capacity crowd, a mixed-aged bunch, while largely static during each song (apart from a few clap-alongs), cheer and applause enthusiastically as each song concludes, thus tonight seems more about musical admiration than actuation. And there's much to admire...
Musically adept as a quartet, with a discernible chemistry between the four men, King King are a sonically engaging act. However, with keyboardist Bob Fridzema sat down for the duration, and bassist Lindsay Coulson lacking in any kind of onstage energy, the visual stimuli of King King's show is all down to drummer Wayne Proctor's animated performance behind his kit and, more so, frontman Alan Nimmo's impassioned performance. And impassioned is an apposite word as the man's clearly feeling every emotion he's attempting to convey through both voice and instrument. In particular, his array of quasi-anguished, serene and semi-ecstatic facial expressions are indicative of such during his lengthy solo spots.
It's a generally jovial atmosphere in the Drill Hall tonight with a mutual admiration for the emotionally potent experience that is King King. However, that atmosphere is temporarily soured somewhat towards the end of their set when, during pre-encore number 'One Love', when Nimmo's soloing works off a neat diminuendo, to the point where his playing is literally unamplified, one idiot towards the back of the crowd sees fit to ruin the affectively tranquil mood by spontaneously yelling: "Get on with it, you're supposed to be rocking the joint!" The rest of the audience, en masse, vociferously express their disapproval of, to quote one audience member, this "wanker"... then Nimmo continues undeterred and builds his lead playing into its intended crescendo and blast of heaviness along with the rest of the band. Amusingly, when the band return for their encore and Nimmo requests a sing-along, he alludes to said wanker by stating that certain audience members towards the back of the venue have already been exercising their vocal chords! All in all, tonight in Lincoln, King King prove themselves just why they're the blues genre's currently best loved British band.
Click on thumbnails for larger images:
King King in the Drill Hall, Lincoln, UK, 20th February 2015
Photograph copyright © 2015 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com