King King - LIVE: ABC, Glasgow 2016

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Reaching For The Light Tour
May 14 (20:05 - 21:50)
Capacity 1300

A Saturday night in Glasgow tends to be lively, and the night blues rockers King King came home it certainly was. A pretty near full hall (there are 2 halls in the complex and they were in the biggest one) with an audience ready to give their all will have been a very pleasing to come on to.

Glasgow crowds are famous for creating noise and merriment, but being told the band were recording the show for a live album only added to the fun and excitement. King King had their set worked out very well, mixing up the more straight ahead rockers and their blues workout tracks, and giving every member a chance to shine, especially Dutch born Bob Fridzema on the keyboards. Singer and guitarist Alan Nimmo has a Paul Rodgers feel to his voice at times, especially on the rockier material, which then sounds like long lost Bad Company or Free songs, and the fact he is soon to be heading into hospital for problems with his vocal chords was almost unbelievable considering his performance.

Two of the first three tracks were shorter more blues rock in opener Lose Control and Waking Up, with the latter having an immediate response from the crowd - there was no need to say anything for much of the crowd to start clapping along. There is a lovely keyboard refrain on this which seems familiar, but is maybe one of those series of notes that just click with listeners. In between those was the first of the real bluesy pieces, Wait On Time, where Alan hands over to keyboardist Fridzema right at the start. This is where the band really excel, taking their time and allowing space for each other to play. On Rush Hour the crowd were challenged to be louder than Newcastle, as they were "OK", followed by a big grin, almost in the knowledge it would be.

Of course they took the time out to mention a musical legend from Glasgow, Frankie Miller, and played "one of our favourites" in the shape of Jealousy - a song which works really well for them as Alan has the accent to get the correct inflections vocally. More Than I Can Take had a late era Deep Purple sound with the keyboards and the funky feel, and then there was quite a touching moment as Alan took the time out to talk about his brother Stevie, mentioning his strength, resolve in dealing with illness, and what an inspiration he is in his life before playing You Stopped The Rain. It turned into quite a family affair when Alan pointed out he was trying not to swear as "my mammy's in the crowd," prompting cheers and laughter. He also at one point asked where someone was in the crowd as he had seen a piece on their Facebook page that it was his birthday. The lucky chap to get the mention and will no doubt be delighted to know he is on the live album when it comes out. Whether the birthday boy was as happy as the band is a moot point as Alan remarked "this is a boyhood dream come true tonight".

Finishing the set with a marathon version of Stranger To Love allowing some first class soloing especially on guitar was an excellent choice. They are without doubt on an upward path with the band playing larger venues each time (supporting Thunder recently will have helped), showing that the blues can be varied and fun. It helps that the singer has a natural bonhomie attitude, the sort of guy who would be great to sit down and have a drink with. Tonight was a terrific show summed up beautifully by one very loud (and possibly merry) Glaswegian (which hopefully will be kept on the recording as the timing was spot) with "this is fucking magic".

“ allowing space for each other to play ”

Setlist: Lose Control / Wait On Time / Waking Up / Rush Hour / A Long History of Love / More Than I Can Take / You Stopped The Rain / Jealousy / Crazy / All Your Life / Stranger To Love // Let Love In

Written by Tom Cornell
More: 2016, Blues, Gigs,

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