It has been over a year since King King played in Glasgow. We have lost the beloved 02 ABC in that time, the venue where the band recorded their incredible live album. It is still doubtful this will ever return so the boys have already secured a little slice of history but they want more.
Tonight they are support to some band that had a pretty big hit back in the 80s, a band I never really took too so after this set I made my way to another gig in the city…but I do wonder if post brexit Europe will be allowed back!
I swear without knowing it if I saw a clip of a live King King show I would be able to tell if it was in Glasgow purely from the smile on Alan Nimmo’s face. From the moment he walks out to the huge cheers it is always written across his face, he is home and very proud to be standing on that stage, a stage he played on a few years ago as support to local heroes Gun. This show and the one previous with Thunder set new heights for King King. They were well known in blues circles but these shows introduced the rock world to the talents of the band.
It was here that the song Rush Hour took on its sing along(that we will get to shortly). It was probably one of these shows that the band’s direction changed and as much as they will always be blues based the rockier numbers were brought out for those shows and opening number “(She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’” off the brilliant Exile and Grace was likely influenced by Thunder as it is well known that the band’s influences have Morley and Bowes in there.
It is a great start to the show and the whole band are relishing in the audiences love but for new boy Jonny Dyke it was all new and he lapped it up. The tempo is taken right down for “Long History of Love”, this is King King at their bluesy best. Alan’s voice leaves the issues of the last couple of years behind and it sounds stronger than ever. With such a short set I was surprised to see this longer number in there but the crowd took to it easily. The Europe fans embraced the band as I have seen every audience do over the years.
This band was made for the big stage, the power of their sound carries them, the solid and always crystal clear beat from Wayne Proctor sets the scale and brings in the clarity to that Bass sound from the ever dapper Lindsay Coulson but this song is all about the guitar and Alan is as good as any guitar god out there.
Next up is the ever emotional “You Stopped the Rain” a constant in the set list and a reminder of the bond between his absent(tonight) brother Stevie. As a little note the two brothers will be playing shows later this year under the Nimmo Brothers. If you have not seen these boys together you need to go as I have never seen two better guitarists and singers on the same stage and you can get to see the bond first hand…there is something very special about those show.
Now to that sing along in “Rush Hour” but it is way more than just an audience participation number, this is for me the best song the band have written, the slow lazy blues/rock combo grabs your spine and barrages it with shivers. This is always my highlight of a live show.
The short set comes to a close with “Stranger To love” and the band want to be remembered by all the Europe fans out there and what a way to do it as this song was on fire. This is 70s rock to its core and although the song is not really a compliment to the headliners, talent is talent and the crowd know that.
I am sure this tour will once again garner them some new fans which they deserve as this band put on a performance worthy of any stage and hopefully this will lead to a headline slot at this venue as I know Alan and his mum Jinty would be over the moon. It is just a matter of time and although the band have a ton of awards under their belts you get the feeling a headline show here would be the one to sit back and say we made it.
Images and words Ritchie Birnie