17 January 17
Support Band: Rhinos Revenge
King King are currently on their 2018 UK tour, and tonight’s gig at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire is their first gig date. Support Band Rhiinos Revenge are a three-piece outfit, noteworthy for their head-down dirty guitar riffs, reminiscent of Status Quo. Front-man John ‘Rhino’ Edwards takes vocal and bass duties, along with Jim Kirkpatrick from FM on Guitar and Richard Newman (from Paul Rodgers band) on Drums. They played a ten-song set-list, full of Blues Rock riffs and quivering guitar-solos, finally culminating in a cover of Status Quo’s “Two Way Traffic”
This set the stage perfectly for King King’s onstage entrance at 8.45, with a backdrop song of FREE’s “Alright Now”. Front-man Alan Nimmo (Lead Vocals, Guitar) took to the stage wearing an eye-catching ensemble of a Scottish Kilt, topped off with WhiteSnake T-Shirt and boots. Opening track (She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin is a sublime blend of electric guitar, and is a rocky love-ballad in the Blues Rock tradition, with the anthemic chorus that repeats the title track words. “Waking Up” has a rootsey-bluesey vibe, with reverbering plaintive vocals “I can’t lose this feeling”. The foot-stomping lyrics mirror the Rock-driven bass guitar, and is the standout track for me. “You Stopped the Rain” came next, and was a definite crowd-pleasing track. The ballad-like opening belies the fundamental nature of this track which quickly develops into a pure Blues-driven guitar that recalls Jimi Hendrix, notably in the closing spell-binding guitar-solo. The lyrics are also relatable and memorable.
King King’s set-list comprised of a joyous blend of all four of their albums, from their Debut album “Take My Hand” (2011), “Standing in the Shadows” (2013), “Reaching for the Light” (2015) and current album “Exile & Grace”. This all encompassing set-list makes this an enjoyable experience for both their long-standing fans, and embraces the new. We were also introduced to new band-member Jonny Dyke on Keyboards, whose work blends seamlessly with the other established band members, and is a testament to his inherent talent.
The track “Broken” makes full use of choppy guitar riffs and rhythmic, hypnotic drumming and the reflective guitar-strumming perfectly captures the sombre tone of this meditative track. Nimmo sings anthemic lyrics such as “This world is broken” in elegaic tones. The keyboard sound is used to harmonise and resonate to sound like a harmonica in this vocal-heavy track. Unique indeed. in this vocal-heavy track.
“Long History of Love” followed, and the stage interplay between Nimmo and Coulson betrays this as a band-favourite track, and it’s easy to see why with its gorgeous, pure vocals and low key instruments.
“Lose Control” and “Rush Hour” were again crowd-pleasing tracks, favoured for their soulful, melodic tempos. “Long Time Running” is an upbeat tempo-change in the set-list with its energetic Rock-dripping guitar riffs.
“Stranger to Love” was dedicated by Nimmo to an audience-member who was celebrating their birthday that night, which marks “King King” out as a personable and approachable band. This extended version-track features a rootsey bluesy guitar with beautiful guitar solos, which pay homage to the traditional Blues and were crowd-captivating. “Crazy” is a rocky track with elements of 70’s Funk, which blends perfectly into the next track
“All Your Life” , which opens with a steady drum beat, and is a head-nodding track with unashamed music elements of 70’s Funk, reminiscent of Sly and the Family Stone and James Brown.
When Nimmo introduced thie track “Find Your Way Home” he was greeted with a spontaneous scream from a stage-front audience-member who loudly declared, “I love this song!”, Nimmo gracefully acknowledged and accepted this compliment, before launching into this track which is a sublime, slow ballad-track, with soulful lyrics and vocals.
Encore track “Let Love In” was a fitting end to this blistering two hour gig, with its Blues Rock sound and relatable lyrics,
(She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin
You Stopped the Rain
Long History of Love
Long Time Running
Stranger to Love
All Your Life
Find Your Way Home
Let Love In
Writer: Siane Daley
Photography: Jeff Moh