King King by Laurence Harvey

King King: Let your love shine in

King King | Islington Assembly Hall | 29 November 2016

Photo credit: Laurence Harvey

Alan Nimmo is under strict doctor’s orders to look after his voice. But, just a few songs into King King’s enthusiastic London appearance, the natural showman just can’t resist leading an already fired-up crowd through the lung-bursting “wooah wooah” of a joyous ‘Rush Hour’.

And, despite the recent vocal condition that’s forced the frontman to postpone a series of UK dates, he’s having as good a time as the audience. Sure, Nimmo’s dance moves don’t rival those of the punter at the back who spends the entire two-hour show seemingly auditioning for ‘Saturday Night Fever’, but the Scotsman’s performance is no less energetic or committed.

His guitar work, especially, impresses, whether it’s the blistering, freewheeling solo of ‘A Long History Of Love’ or the instrumental breakdown of ‘Stranger To Love’ that has the kilted guitarist performing with all the intricacy, subtlety, and restraint of David Gilmour, bringing the crowd – and his playing – to near silence, before the titanic, finger-shredding outro breaks loose.

But King King is no solo affair – Nimmo’s showmanship is fully complemented by the rest of the band. An integral part of the quartet’s sound, Bob Fridzema’s keyboards come to the fore, especially, on the soulful instrumental section of ‘A Long History Of Love’ and bluesy set opener ‘Lose Control’, that’s all about his honky-tonk piano. Just as important, the rhythm section are less in your face, although ballsy rocker ‘Waking Up’ would be nothing without Lindsay Coulson’s bouncing bassline and drummer Wayne Proctor really gets the groove going on ‘Let Love In’, the triumphant set closer that has the venue erupting in cheers, whoops, whistling, and dance moves one last time.

Danny Core of Broken Witt Rebels (Photo: Laurence Harvey)
Danny Core of Broken Witt Rebels who performed a blistering opening set including fiery performances of classics like ‘Howlin”, prime cuts from their current ‘Georgia Pine’ EP (like the explosive’Guns’), and a brand new song – the ass-kicking ‘Bang Bang’.  (Photo: Laurence Harvey)

And with such warmth coming from the crowd, it’s clear there’s more to this band than their music. An affable raconteur, Nimmo especially forms a connection with people through his off-the-cuff between-song banter, sincere acknowledgement of support band Broken Witt Rebels, touching dedication of ‘You Stopped The Rain’ to his ill mother watching on Facebook Live from home, and genuine appreciation for the fans’ support.

It’s those fans who send King King off on a high, with the call and response refrain of “let your love shine in, let your soul shine bright” still ringing through Islington Assembly Hall.

KING KING
With Special Guests “Broken Witt Rebels”
RE-SCHEDULED 2017 UK TOUR DATES
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 CARDIFF THE GLOBE
FRIDAY 13 JANUARY 2017
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 FROME CHEESE & GRAIN
SATURDAY 14 JANUARY 2017
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MARKET YARD, FROME, SOMERSET, BA11 1BE
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NORWICH WATERFRONT
FRIDAY 3 FEBRUARY 2017
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139-141 KING STREET, NORWICH, NR1 1QH
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 SOUTHAMPTON  1865
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 4 2017
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 EXETER PHOENIX
SATURDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2017
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FRIDAY 3 MARCH 2017
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11-A UPPER MARKET STREET, HOVE, BN3 1AS
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 BILSTON ROBIN 2
SATURDAY MARCH 4 2017
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20-28 MOUNT PLEASANT, BILSTON, WOLVERHAMPTON, WV14 7LJ
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