metal talk
King King: ABC, Glasgow

ian sutherland
Words: Ian Sutherland, Pictures: Stuart Westwood

king king

It must be a daunting prospect when your band has a gig booked in your home town and then you find that your hero and biggest influence is playing across the city on the same night.

Alan Nimmo, frontman of blues rockers King King has a happy grin on his face though. "I was dreading this," he says, "Paul Rodgers playing down the road, but look, loads of you came here instead. Eedjits!"

The wry humour may hide some relief but the hard work this band has been putting in matched with the sheer quality of their live shows means they have a big crowd in front of them and they are happy to make the most of it.

The musicianship on stage is impeccable and Lindsay Coulson on bass, Wayne Proctor on drums and Bob Fridzima on keyboards don't put a foot wrong all night, with Fridzima's elegant yet passinate playing particularly impressive. However it is the man up front who gets most of the attention and who really lifts King King from very good blues rock to something a bit special.

king king

Mr Nimmo has a fascinating combination of talents. His warm, rich vocal tones are a fine testament to his affection for his one night only rival singing Free tunes across the city, but he has a timbre all his own and full of soul. He is also a guitarist of some repute and several of his solos tonight were quite breathtaking, he can do the fiery breaks, the slow builder, the extended wailing, all kinds of stuff in his repertoire and all of it delivered superbly.

It's not just about singing and playing though. He has that magic ingredient too, a little bit of charisma. Getting the crowd to to do call and response sections with him looks so easy as is his naturally chatty, cheeky chat between songs. The crowd respond to him, he just is one of those guys you can't help but like. They even hush in response to his hand signals as mid solo he turns down the volume on his guitar so far that all you can hear is him playing the strings with virtually no amplification. I'm not sure how that sounded at the back of the hall but down front it was an impressive little bit of showmanship.

king king

When you add all that to the quality of songs like 'Waking Up' and 'Rush Hour' you have something that takes the world of blues rock past the realm of the aficionados and into a mainstream place without losing any integrity at all. I think Paul Rodgers himself would have enjoyed this a lot and the crowd certainly lapped up every moment enthusiastically.

Tonight we got ninety minutes of superbly crafted music from a band and a leader in great, great form. With a new album in the pipeline I think if King King keep working hard and get in front of enough people they could get to Joe Bonamassa level and start playing the big venues. I hope it happens, they deserve it and King King of the blues has a nice ring to it.

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Check out more of Ian Sutherland right here.

30th May 2017

metal talk