Reviewing King King Live is like reviewing a gig for the second time as I, along with my wife, was lucky enough to be at the show recorded for the CD. Glasgow on May 14th was the date selected, a hometown show for Alan Nimmo. The band sold out the O2 ABC, having only a year previously managed to get a decent crowd into the significantly smaller ABC2 down the stairs.
King King’s music is more my wife’s back – catchy, throaty blues rock. This is the kind of thing I listen to when I’m doing other work rather than go to gigs to see. Well… it was the kind of thing I’d skip until I saw King King opening for Thunder and then again at this show. Consider me converted. Thankfully the crew who recorded the Glasgow show have done a superb job of getting every note and tone down perfectly. From Nimmo’s rasping voice to those gorgeous warm tones of Bob Fridzema’s Hammond organ, everything’s here to make the music spot on.
What makes it all the better is they’ve captured the crowd sound as well, even a bubbling undercurrent during quieter bits in some of the songs (listen out for cheers and whistles at the end of Fridzema’s lead during “Wait On Time”). There’s no point having a live album without crowd noise! Someone needs to explain this to far too many producers.
The set is a great selection from the band’s back catalogue including the obvious favourites. “Lose Control”, “Rush Hour” and “Let Love In” are all featured along with the very emotional “You Stopped The Rain” which Nimmo dedicates to his brother Steve.
For those who were there that night, you may remember Nimmo’s “unplugged” guitar solo during the lengthy “Stranger To Love”. At the time, I was wondering how it would come out on the album, given that the sound of the strummed strings could barely be heard ten deep from the front. Well, you’ll find out on here as they’ve not edited it out! The only things that are missing, from memory, are the birthday greeting, Alan’s longer intro to “You Stopped The Rain” where he talks about his brother, and – thankfully – the stifling heat.
In fact, due to the uncomfortable conditions this is the first chance I’ve had to hear set closer “Let Love In” all the way through. The wife and I had to leave a little over halfway through to get some fresh air as she was about to collapse. The ABC doesn’t aerate well on hot days!
The fact that the album brings back so many memories and experiences of that night really says a lot about how good it is. Of course it’s not like being there, but it’s not far off and it’s a great recording.
King King Live is out on October 21st and versions with a DVD (Holmfirth Picturedrome on 13th April 2016) are also available – and available now to pre-order at Amazon.co.uk
- Wed 9th Nov 2016 – The Old Market (Hove)
- Thu 10th Nov 2016 – Waterfront (Norwich)
- Fri 11th Nov 2016 – 1865 (Southampton)
- Thu 17th Nov 2016 – The Cheese and Grain (Frome)
- Fri 18th Nov 2016 – Robin 2 (Wolverhampton)
- Sat 19th Nov 2016 – Tramshed (Cardiff)
- Sun 20th Nov 2016 – Phoenix Arts Centre (Exeter)
- Thu 24th Nov 2016 – The Lemon Tree (Aberdeen)
- Fri 25th Nov 2016 – The Queen’s Hall (Edinburgh)
- Sat 26th Nov 2016 – The Live Rooms (Chester)
- Sun 27th Nov 2016 – The Grand at Clitheroe (Clitheroe)
- Tue 29th Nov 2016 – Islington Assembly Hall [Town Hall] (Islington)