King King

Live Review | Selby Town Hall, Selby | Review by Allan Wilkinson

The walls of Selby Town Hall rattled and rocked tonight to the sound of one of the most exciting blues bands on the scene today.  Led by Alan Nimmo, whose confident vocal and seasoned guitar playing provides the band with its focal point, King King launched into their first set with the opening number from their debut album due out at the end of March.  “Lose Control” set the standard for the rest of the night with two sets of Nimmo/Coulson originals and blues standards, all preceded by a noteworthy scene, where each of the players touched knuckles with their front man, in a gesture of pure musical comradeship.  The night was just about divided into two sets, the Gibson Les Paul set and the Fender Stratocaster set, where Nimmo could demonstrate his musical prowess on both celebrated works of genius.  The band, which also included Lindsay Coulson on bass, Joel White on keyboards and Jamie Little on drums, paid homage to The Fabulous Thunderbirds with a storming version of “Wait on Time” and to John Hiatt with the soulfully beautiful “Feels Like Rain”, providing the night with one of its high points.  The relatively small Town Hall in Selby helped create an intimate atmosphere, where the audience is allowed to feel very much part of the show, whether in the stalls or up in the Gods.  With some friendly banter with some fellow Glaswegians in the wings, Alan Nimmo’s charismatic personality matched his musicianship measure for measure, which helped create a bond with the audience, rewarded by some healthy applause between songs.  Dedicating the Eric Clapton/Robert Cray classic “Old Love” to his big brother Stevie, Alan Nimmo together with the rest of the band, brought the volume level down to almost zero during the guitar solo, with Nimmo playing some highly emotive guitar, eventually turning the dial on his Strat down to nothing, allowing the duty sound tech Jon Chapman a moment to lean over the sound desk and enjoy it with the rest of us.  The fact that those acoustic notes could be heard throughout the venue is testament to the audience’s respect and to the band’s command over musical cohesion.  A thrilling moment.  Showcasing much of the band’s Take My hand album, including “Don’t You Get the Feeling (You’ve Been Had)”, “Heart Without a Soul”, “Broken Heal” and “All Your Life”, together with the title cut, the band also revived “Six in the Morning”, which appeared on the earlier Broken Heal EP. Encouraging some of the female audience to get up and dance, King King launched into a storming rock and roll number “Gravy Train”, featuring White’s superb honky-tonk piano solo, which did the trick.  Closing with a couple of well-chosen covers, Howling Wolf’s “Mr Highway Man”, followed by a final encore of Stevie Wonder’s funky “I Wish”, King King made an exceptional and memorable debut in Selby.