King King – Town Hall, Birmingham– 01-02-2019
Review: Stephen Brophy
(Snaps just for a little context, was not shooting this show)
Sometimes a gig gets announced and you just have to get to it, with King King being one of the best Blues Rock bands on the scene at the moment this was such a gig, then when they announce the rising star that is Sari Schorr as the Support Act it becomes a no brainer. So off we go to a bitterly cold Birmingham that has thankfully managed to avoid the worst of the weather that hit the UK last weekend. The venue is one that also intrigued, the Town Hall is a beautiful venue and having seen this show there it also has excellent sound and lighting.
Opening tonight in an all seated venue is the wonderful Sari Schorr, who’s 2018 album Never Say Never, is a brilliant piece of work, and this set was mainly from it and is a cracking introduction to this powerful yet gentle singer. Sari not only relies on her own vocal talents, a depth of excellent songs but also a band of terrific musicians that are a joy to watch and so tight. Ash Wilson is one hell of a guitarist, and be it solos or subtle playing it’s always spot on, Mat (Bass) and Roy (Drums) provide a rock solid rhythm section and tonight we get the added bonus of another terrific musician Stevie Watts, on Keyboards, standing in for Bob. The set flies along kicking off with “The New Revolution” and rounding out with the rocking “Maybe I’m Foolin”, the mere fact that this is in rotation on PanetRock shows that Sari’s music can cross genres.
Support slots are often just too short, and the crowd is really getting into the set the longer it progresses, there’s a reason Sari is getting so much recognition, live she can switch between hard rock and moving subtle vocals in a breath. Later in the evening Alan Nimmo described Sari as floating around, and she really does, around the stage as she drops to her knees and once again draws the audience in, or as she addresses the crowd between songs, there’s a loveable honesty to what she believes in, and the voice is just awesome, backed up by the talents that surround her, this is definitely a name to keep watching out for, more new fans added to the growing list tonight.
Anticipation building through the break before King King hit the stage, when they do people are immediately on their feet to welcome then, and Alan Nimmo asks everybody to stand up and stay up, making the atmosphere even better. Right from the opening chords the sound is just terrific and to open with a smashing version of “Broken” and running into another rocker in “Lose Control”, the venue is already moving, singing, dancing and just setting the show up perfectly. Alan not only has a tremendous voice, but is a very amiable character and the between between songs tonight goes from funny, to poignant and at times very moving. This is not only the bands 10th Anniversary Tour, but also very sadly the last to feature Bass player Lindsay Coulson, definitely Alan’s right hand man, Lindsay has chosen to step aside and the love is certainly in the room as his friend tells everyone the news we sadly knew, but it’s not a matter of fact thing, Alan is clearly choked up and just about gets through saying it. But as always 100% professional when it comes to delivering the music, this set gets better and better, dedicating the beautiful “You Stopped The Rain” not only to brother Stevie and his mother, but also to Lindsay was a classy move.
A set covered with highlights, another special moment as they introduce another wonderful voice in Jacquie Williams who sang backing vocals on the title track from the bands debut album “Take My Hand”, and with no rehearsal she nails it live, it does give the track a different sound. The classics are all here, “Rush Hour”, “Waking Up”, you look around you and the thing that hits you most at a King King show is the love in the room, this band really means something to it’s fans, it’s not about individuals starting at their shoes on a stage, it’s friends that have become friends of us all over the years, you can hear a pin drop when the guitar solos are being played, every time you see them they raise their game again, certainly a band in full flight, I’m sure Lindsay’s replacement will fall into the same ideals, and not only be a great player but a major organ in the heart of the band.
King King’s reputation has been steadily growing over the last few years, support slots on Arena Tours, successful Tours of their own and the building of a loyal following has all gone to elevate this band to a higher level and they are continuing to get bigger and better as a live act. There is something very special about this combination, and I for one look forward to continuing to see their stock rise, and can’t wait to see where they take their music next and hear it live, take a bow guys another stunning night, tinged with sadness, I look forward to the day this band headlines Arenas, brilliant.
Heed The Warning
Coming Home (Rest Your Eyes)
Stranger To Love
(She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’
Take A Look
You Stopped The Rain
Find Your Way Home
Take My Hand