King King @ The Barrowland, Glasgow Sep20


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King King @ The Barrowland, Glasgow

King King @ The Barrowland,

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

King King @ The Barrowland, Glasgow

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