Royal Conqueror

If King King’s new live album is a true barometer of success, the Glasgow band has done more than enough to secure a place in the pantheon of the great British blues bands.

Since 2010, when they made their stage debut, the band has steadily built an ever-increasing loyal fan base. With three studio albums in the can, their most recent offering, last year’s ‘Reaching For The Light’, has attracted rave reviews.

They are also no strangers to glitzy award ceremonies, the band mantelpiece groans with a slew of gongs, five alone at this year’s British Blues Awards. They also picked up a nomination for Best New Band at the 2015 Classic Rock Awards.

Reviewing this album, I am reminded of the success of the Allman Brothers Band’s psychedelic-infused blues masterpiece, ‘Live at Fillmore East’. Released on the back of two studio LP’s, it broke the Southern maestros nationwide. Could ‘Live’ set the heather alight for King King?

Recorded in their hometown, at the O2 ABC in Glasgow, this two CD set sparkles, capturing King King’s raw energy, as white hot as a band can get. Across thirteen tracks it’s a snapshot, a career distilled, years of road work evident in the tight-as-a-drum arrangements.

Resplendent in his trademark kilt, King King’s lead singer and guitarist, Alan Nimmo, commands the stage. Throughout the set he stirs a pot brim-full of soulful grooves liberally sprinkled with thumping R&B swagger, ably applied by the other members of this superb band – Lindsay Coulson (bass), Wayne Proctor (drums) and Bob Fridzema (keyboards).

Nimmo’s soaring voice: If you listen carefully you can hear Free-era Paul Rodgers, a trace of Gregg Allman and a hint of that other Glasgow boy, the legendary Frankie Miller.

The crowd laps it up. In a reverential hat-tip to the city’s famed Apollo Theatre, this is a Glasgow audience at its glorious, raucous best showering the band with rapturous applause.

With this live album, King King has knocked it out of the park, a tour de force. Tracks ‘Waking Up’ , Rush Hour’ and ‘A Long History of Love’ stand out. The latter boasts a blistering closing guitar solo that harks back to mid-seventies southern blues. In may respects it’s wrong to single out any tracks for special mention, the whole damn album is magnificent.

King King ‘Live’ is issued tomorrow and is available now to pre-order at Amazon It includes two CDs recorded at O2 ABC in Glasgow, plus a bonus DVD film of the band performing to a sold-out crowd at the Holmfirth Picturedrome earlier this year. The band hit the road next month for a string of UK shows, details below. Go see ’em!

Photo Credit: Live pictures © Laurence Harvey