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Scottish band's confidence at an all-time high
King King conclude the first leg of their UK tour at Sheffield Leadmill on January 27, 2018 – the second leg begins in April. I caught the second date of the tour at Birmingham Town Hall and was impressed by the band's confidence – it takes guts to choose AC/DC's Highway to Hell as your intro music, a real 'follow that, if you dare' track. But King King effortlessly won over the audience which had already been warmed up by a cracking set from Rhino's Revenge, the side-project of Status Quo bassist John 'Rhino' Edwards.
On stage: King King in Birmingham (pic: Martin Tierney)
Like AC/DC, King King have a Unique Selling Point. For AC/DC, it's school uniform-clad Angus Young; for Glasgow's King King it's burley frontman Alan Nimmo, a striking figure in a black 'Rock & Roll' T-shirt, red kilt and beige-coloured boots. Say what you like about his dress sense, he has a soulful voice and plays a mean lead guitar.
There's an album, Exile & Grace, to promote so new track (She Don't) Gimme No Lovin' kicks off the 90 minute show. It's followed by two songs from 2015's Reaching For The Light album, the laid-back, bluesy Waking Up and the guitar-heavy You Stopped the Rain.
Striking: Alan Nimmo (pic: Martin Tierney)
New Hammond Organ/ piano player Jonny Dyke is well to the fore, weaving some lovely melodies. Alan reveals that Jon played in an early version of King King and he was lured back with the promise of lots of money. Someone from the audience shouts ''He's worth every penny!'' and Jonny proves the point throughout the show, his Hammond solos complementing Alan's guitar licks.
Let's not forget that this is a quartet. Drummer Wayne Proctor supplies a rock steady beat, while bassist Lindsay Coulson (celebrating his birthday), while unspectacular, provides a solid undercurrent of rhythm.
Guitar-heavy: Alan Nimmo, watched by Lindsay Coulson (pic: Martin Tierney)
Despite having a cold, Alan's voice holds out, with the soulful Long History Of Love and Rush Hour particularly memorable. He also plays a beautiful guitar solo in the epic Stranger To Love.
King King have worked hard, touring and recording since 2010, and an impressively large crowd in Birmingham suggests they are now reaping the rewards.
(She Don't) Gimme No Lovin' Waking Up You Stopped The Rain Broken Long History Of Love Lose Control
Long Time Running
Stranger To Love
All Your Life
Let Love In
King King 2018 UK tour dates:
Jan 20: The Forum, Bath;
Jan 26: Queen's Hall, Edinburgh;
Jan 27: The Leadmill, Sheffield;
Apr 14: Huntingdon Hall, Worcester;
Apr 15: HRH Festival, Sheffield;
Apr 20: The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen;
Apr 21: Darvel Festival, Darvel Town Hall;
May 3: St Mary in The Castle, Hastings;
May 4: Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd;
May 5: 1865, Southampton;
May 10 : Epstein Theatre, Liverpool;
May 11: Playhouse, Whitley Bay;
May 12: The Grand, Clitheroe;
May 17: The Live Rooms, Chester;
May 18: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds;
May 19: The Picturedrome, Holmfirth;
May 26: Cheese & Grain, Frome;
May 27: Exeter Arts Centre;
May 31: Robin 2, Bilston;
June 1: The Apex, Bury St Edmunds;
June2: Rock & Blues Festival, Newport.