KING KING with support from STEVE HILL - Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd 04.05.18

CHARLEY FARLEY

(PHOTO CREDITS: MORAG FARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY)

 

The Municipal Arts Centre in Pontypridd is becoming a venue we are seeing a lot more bands appearing at. It has great sound, good lighting and a well stocked, reasonably priced bar. The nearby free carpark (after 6pm) and the railway station just down the road are added bonuses. The first sunny Friday in May found us standing outside chatting to other regular gig goers - all looking forward to another night of great music.

 

At the appointed time, the doors opened, and we readied ourselves for the first act - STEVE HILL. The stage was full of equipment, with Steve’s kit taking centre stage. We waited and waited as a few people turned up. Disappointingly, not many were in the venue at 7:30pm - the time Steve was supposed to start. As time ticked by, more and more people arrived, until, almost 30 minutes late, he walked on stage playing his gold encrusted guitar to a much fuller venue. He takes his place at his single kick drum and snare, high-hat and ride, and with a cheeky smile on his face begins to play them. All at once. Steve Hill is a one-man-band. He has a sound that instantly captivated the crowd, who were enthralled at his ability to seemingly divide his brain into 6 parts and use them all at the same time for different things.

 

Between songs, he has an engaging chat - talking about his Canadian background and his life which are the inspiration for his writing. Playing the instruments as he does, and the obvious limitations, his unique blues rock style went down very well. There is no room for a solo performer to make mistakes - were there any? I don’t know. He didn’t seem lonely up there on his own, with no-one to support him - except for his Tech who occasionally popped on stage to tighten up a cymbal nut.

 

As he had started later than billed, people who hadn’t expected to catch him were still arriving throughout the set. Judging by the applause at the end of each song, he seems to have made a lot of new friends, and fans.

 

He finished with an excellently delivered version of ‘Voodoo Child’. A brave thing to do, but, again, he was, simply, brilliant. If you haven’t managed to catch him on this tour, make a point of checking him out on any of his 4 albums, and he will be back in the UK later in the year.

 

Set List:

Rhythm All Over

Go On

Damned

The Ballad Of Johnny Wabo

Dangerous

Never Is Such A Long Time

Hate To See You Go

Voodoo Child

 

Steve Hill’s One Man Band is exactly that.

http://www.stevehillmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/stevehillmusic

https://twitter.com/stevehill

 

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

The stage crew appeared to do their stuff. Fortunately, Steve gets a hand taking his equipment off stage to make way for the main act. As  ‘Highway to Hell’ blasted out over the PA, and the stage lights dimmed, KING KING take to the stage one by one to huge applause. As they start with ‘(She Don’t) Give Me No Lovin’’ we are left in no doubt that the issues that faced front man Alan Nimmo’s voice a year ago are over. His voice is as powerful and as good as ever it was and he is loving the stage time and the audience engagement as the band go through their set.

 

The music delivers and the venue is now packed with people dancing and singing along. As they move into ‘Waking Up’, those there who were asleep were soon woken up by Wayne Proctors booming kick drum.

 

Pausing for breath, the kilted Nimmo thanks the crowd for coming out and thanks Steve Hill for opening the show. The audience respond again with a thundering applause.

 

Alan dedicates the next song, ‘You Stopped The Rain’, to his brother, Steve, and performs the stunning track with feeling and emotion. This one song alone demonstrates that Nimmo’s not just a great voice but skilled guitarist who can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

 

Introducing the next song ‘Broken’, Nimmo calls it a suitable song for the current time, and  allows to provide relief from all that’s going on in the world. It is a hugely emotional song - typically blues rock and it goes down a storm.

 

Jonny Dyke on keyboards, joined King King late in 2017, and Nimmo introduces him to the crowd as they strike up for ‘Long History Of Love’. This is a slower track, and Jonny gets to show off his prowess, as the Hammond organ solo enchants the crowd, the track reaches its climax with a skilful guitar solo, as the audience reacts with delight.

 

One of the constraints of a singer who is also the lead guitarist is that much of their time has to be spent behind the mike. In this song, Nimmo steps back, just out of its reach but still his powerful voice can be heard, clear and strong, throughout the room. The next song, ‘Lose Control’ picks up the pace and I can see so many people in the audience joining in, enjoying every second of this fabulous music, which continues with the unmistakable keyboards intro as they start ‘Rush Hour’.

 

No great gig is complete without a bit of audience participation. After simple instructions from Alan, the whole crowd demonstrate their ‘Welshness’ by showing their fine voices. Our response is just what the band wanted as Nimmo salutes the crowd with a double fist pump.

 

The thunderous kick drum picks up again and dominates ‘Long Time Running’ followed by ‘All your Life’ with its heavy drums, and funky keyboard intro. Lindsay Coulson’s bass fills the room with its distinctive tone which is engaging and mesmerising to watch.

 

All good frontmen introduce the band, and Nimmo is no exception. He introduces Wayne Proctor and Lindsay Coulson, on Drums and Bass respectively and again reminds us that Jonny Dyke is the keyboard virtuoso and the crowd cheer and applause to each. He doesn’t leave out the touring crew in his vote of thanks - they work hard, and are often forgotten in the introductions and thanks. Jonny introduces and thanks Alan, to huge applause, and his response is to thank us for coming out and he encourages the crowd to “keep music live” by supporting live music venues, and bands.

 

It is getting near to the end of the show, and it is clear to see the band are loving what they do as the slow the pace down again with ‘Stranger To Love’. Nimmo’s delicate guitar solo against the thunderous yet slow paced kick drum of Proctor is absolutely phenomenal and the audience are clearly loving it as much as the band. Alan signals to the audience to “shush” whilst he softens the track and quietens down his guitar solo. Unfortunately one or two of the Ponty crowd are a little over excited and Nimmo doesn’t get the opportunity to convey the emotion of the track. This rattles him for a few seconds, but he comes back with a vengeance and the track builds with some bone shaking drums and a sustained, beautiful guitar solo.

 

The band leave the stage with the thunderous applause and cheering ringing in their ears. After a few minutes, they return for an encore, but before they strike up for their finale, Nimmo thanks everyone, and wishes us all a safe journey home. Inviting us all to join in, the band complete the night with ‘Let Love In’ and the Welsh crowd oblige in fine voice, returning the lines that Alan delivers.

 

Once again, the anticipated night of brilliant music delivered. King King are a band to be reckoned with. They are in great form, and long may it continue. They return to Wales in the summer, to appear at the Steelhouse Festival https://www.steelhousefestival.com/  - a slot they had to postpone from last year, due to Alan’s vocal issues. If tonight’s gig is anything to go by, they will go down an absolute storm.

 

Set List:

(She Don’t) Gimme no Lovin’

Waking Up

You Stopped the Rain

Broken

A Long History of Love

Lose Control

Rush Hour

Long Time Running

All Your Life

Stranger To Love

Let Love In

 

King King are:

Alan Nimmo (Vocals, Guitar)

Lindsay Coulson (Bass)

Wayne Proctor (Drums)

Jonny Dyke (Keyboards)

 

https://www.kingking.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/kingkingalannimmo/

https://www.twitter.com/KingKingUK

 

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

 

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