Michelle Flynn (Photo Credits: Linda Flynn)
Chinnerys is a great little venue (albeit with a very sticky floor); and although it was fairly empty when I arrived it had filled nicely by the time Bad Touch took to the stage. I've not long written a full review for Bad Touch so I'm not going to linger too long on them here, just pick out a few highlights. Stevie Westwood's voice sounded incredible, the best I have heard it. They have such an amazing on stage presence that the crowd warmed to them almost immediately and wholeheartedly sang along to My Mother Told Me. Outlaw just gets better every time I hear it performed and the pared back Take Your Time had beautiful harmonies provided by George Drewery (drums) and Harry Slater (lead guitar).
It's rare that support acts leave the stage to chants of “more, more”, but that's exactly what happened here. There is no doubt that these guys are a headline act in the making, to quote the man stood behind me... “Went on YouTube and watched 99% and thought; **** me, they sound good”. Couldn't put it better myself.
The room was completely packed out by the end of the stage change. Free's 'Alright Now' came over the PA and Bob Fridzema (keys), Lindsay Coulson (bass) and Wayne Proctor (drums) took to the stage to loud cheers. The whole room erupted as kilt clad vocalist/guitarist Alan Nimmo appeared with a huge grin on his face; King King had arrived. I was one of the few people in the room who had not seen them live before and I wasn't quite sure how their recorded sound would transfer into a live setting, but by the time they were halfway through the opening number, More Than I can Take, they had me won over. Alan engages with every single member of the audience with a very cheeky glint in his eye while delivering soulful vocals and bluesy riffs.
I'm pleased to say that there was no evidence of Alan's recent voice issues. His vocal tone during Rush Hour was sublime; from gently comforting to powerfully gravelly in the blink of an eye. This was probably the loudest crowd I have heard in a small venue and they made their presence known when singing back to the band at the end of the song. You Stopped The Rain perfectly showcased the rhythm section; the gentle drum work from Wayne and the bassline; provided by the coolest bassist I've ever seen, guided the song along and really came through in the live setting. Alan played the solo straight from the heart; in fact, this was the case with all of the solo performances. This is a band that plays with a passion and that was never more evident than during Long History of Love; the intensity of the performance hit me right in the chest. The keyboard solo allowed the spotlight to be shone on the ever smiling Bob; who provided all the groove you could ask for and then some, before it swiftly bounced back to Alan for a phenomenal guitar solo. The harmonies provided by both Bob and Wayne were glorious.
We were treated to a new track, She Don't Give Me No Loving, which will be the first single from the new album which was met with a heckle of “It's a winner” at the end. And I have no doubt that it will be; it's a catchy, upbeat, little number that will have crowds singing along in no time. I was heartened to see such a diverse mix of people all bouncing along to Lose Control; it reminds us that music has no pigeon holes. At the end of this track, Alan took a moment to speak to the crowd...only to be heckled by a lady who has travelled from Lapland (we could have misheard this) to get his autograph. That's not something you see at every gig.
As stated earlier, this was probably the loudest crowds I've ever heard and they excelled themselves with chants of King King while waiting for the band to return for the encore. This really was a show the audience did not want to end. There is huge mutual respect between the band and their fans and this was evident from the minute they entered the stage to the minute they left. This, coupled with the bluesy, soulful, funky mix in their music will see King King go from strength to strength.
There are still dates left on this tour and I would highly recommend going along.
5/5 ABC Glasgow
6/5 Picturedrome Holmfirth
7/5 Rescue Rooms Nottingham
11/5 Wylam Brewery Newcastle
12/5 Rothes Hall Glenrothes
13/5 Ironworks Inverness
14/5 The Lemon Tree Aberdeen
18/5 Assembly Hall Lemington
19/5 Public Halls Harpenden
20/5 Atkinson Southport
21/5 Fibbers York