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King King, Queens Hall, Edinburgh

ian sutherland
Words: Ian Sutherland, Pictures: Mark Holloway

31st January 2018

king king

It's always nice when you come across a good band and you get to see the strides they're making over time and how that is leading to greater success.

That's how I feel about Scottish rockers King King. Eight years after their inception and the critical acclaim for their soulful take on the blues rock sound, they walked out onto the stage of a sold-out Queen's Hall in Edinburgh to a huge ovation from an audience who were already sold on them.

All that hard work touring and recording has earned them this reception and before they've even played a note it seems like they've already won.

Of course, they're not the sort of band to rest on their laurels. If their cheery, likeable frontman Alan Nimmo wanted to paraphrase Reggie Perrin he could, he didn't get where he is today without putting the work in.

So for the next two hours, this revamped church was filled with tuneful yet sweaty rock music. For all the blues rock references, King King's focus on writing memorable songs matched with Nimmo's deep, expressive vocal tones have seen them move seamlessly into full-on rock territory.
king king

Songs like 'Rush Hour', 'Waking Up' and set opener '(She Don't)Gimme No Lovin'' would sound at home in any classic rock compilation with a vibe more Bad Company than Robert Johnson.

Not that they can't do blues when they want to. Their kilted front man's guitar playing has a passionate yet considered kind of phrasing which is showcased expertly in the extended work out on 'Old Love'.

It's a tribute to the charisma on stage that the long solo can take the sound right down to really sweetly gentle notes with a hush all around the hall before building back up to a satisfyingly loud finish.

That playing would please any blues fan as would the matching keyboard skills of Jonny Dyke who is in sublime form all night too.

king king

The audience is just lapping up everything the band does, these guys are not too many miles from their home turf in Glasgow but the bond with their audience is as much about the music and the warm friendly vibe created from the stage as any ties of kinship.

New track 'Find Your Way Home' wraps up the main set but fittingly it's the more upbeat feel of 'Let Love In' with its expertly worked sing-along sections which closes out the evening.

This was an excellent set by a band who are just getting better and better. The buzz around the room as they performed said to me that they are on a roll right now and set for bigger things in the near future. Catch them before they hit the bigger halls.

king king

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Check out more of Ian Sutherland right here.

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