King King | King King Live | 8/10
Photo credit: Laurence Harvey
“Look at that,” laughs Alan Nimmo, addressing the audience just seconds into ‘King King Live’. “You came.”
They certainly did – all 1362 of them at Glasgow’s O2 ABC to welcome the band home. Oh, and cheer their lungs out. And wolf whistle and whoop and clap. And sing along – loudly – to blues rock anthems like the majestic ‘Rush Hour’ and hot-as-hell ‘Crazy’.
That relationship between the fans and Nimmo, bassist Lindsay Coulson, keyboard player Bob Fridzema, and drummer Wayne Proctor lies at the heart of King King’s first live album. The punters never threaten to drown out the music, but their palpable enthusiasm clearly boosted the men up on that stage on 14 May 2016. And, for musicians already rightfully known for their balls-out shows, that’s saying something.
Over 12 songs and 90 minutes the quartet revisit the finest moments of their three albums – ‘Take My Hand’, ‘Standing In The Shadows’, and last year’s ‘Reaching For The Light’ – with a rampant vitality never quite captured on the studio recordings. Hard-driving set opener ‘Lose Control’ lives up to its title while sounding like primecut Bad Company; swampy ‘Wait On Time’ gives Fridzema plenty of room to boogie woogie; the foot-stomping chest-beating ‘Waking Up’ couldn’t possibly sound more uplifting; and ‘Long History Of Love’ packs a lifetime of heartbreak – and one epic guitar solo – into 10 minutes of solid-gold soul.
With its raw vocal and ass-shakin’ groove, ‘More Than I Can Take’ brings back the badass blues. The swinging ‘You Stopped The Rain’ sounds sunnier than ever before, just as the tender ‘Jealousy’ sounds more heartfelt. And 2011’s funky ‘All Your Life’ doubles its swing (and, with an extended jam session, its running time), before a breathtaking 13-minute rendition of the seismic ‘Stranger To Love’ ups the epic ante even further.
But it’s a barnstorming ‘Let Love In’ that, judging from the wild applause, sends the punters home buzzing – and ends ‘King King Live’ on a triumphant high.
See King King live in November with special guests Broken Witt Rebels. Tickets are available at The Gig Cartel.
9 November: Brighton Old Market
10 November: Norwich Waterfront
11 November: Southampton 1865
17 November: Frome Cheese & Grain
18 November: Bilston Robin 2
19 November: Cardiff Tramshed
20 November: Exeter Phoenix
24 November: Aberdeen Lemon Tree
25 November: Edinburgh Queen’s Hall
26 November: Chester Live Rooms
27 November: Clitheroe Grand
29 November: Islington Assembly Hall