Right now, King King stand on the brink of their busiest period to date, committed to a 2016 tour schedule that will see the band raise roofs from their home turf of Glasgow to Europe, Asia and beyond. Straight out of the blocks, they’ll be rocking the Mahindra Festival in Mumbai, then opening arena dates as support to the mighty Thunder. In Spring, they head out on their own UK headline tour, then bring the noise across mainland Europe. And if you can’t be down the front, look out for the band’s very first live album and DVD.
In short, there’s no time for backslaps, even as King King reflect on an astonishing run of form. As a measure of the band’s current status, consider a few highlights of 2015. Induction into The British Blues Awards Hall Of Fame (as winners of ‘Best Band’ for three consecutive years). Nomination for ‘Best New Band’ at Classic Rock’s prestigious Roll Of Honour (they finished in the top three). Plus, let’s not forget the international acclaim for third release Reaching For The Light, which figured in Best Albums Of 2015 polls by magazines including Classic Rock and The Blues, and topped the countdown in Detroit’s Blues Rock Review (“Another masterclass from King King”).
Media plaudits are always welcome, but perhaps the most tangible evidence that King King are doing something right are the audiences who have roared them to the rafters across the planet. It’s quite a coup, in an era when we’re told that honest, dues-paying rock ‘n’ roll is on the ropes. But then, ever since their live debut shook the Monaghan Blues Festival back in 2010, it was obvious there was something special about this four-piece.
By 2011, King King had proved themselves in the studio, too, with debut release Take My Hand dubbed “tremendous, terrific” by Maverick Magazine, crowned Blues Album of the Month in Classic Rock, and ultimately scoring the band’s first British Blues Award for ‘Best Album’.
If ‘Take My Hand’ caught the scene’s attention, then the release of ‘Standing In The Shadows’ in March 2013 announced that King King were a band on the up. While lesser artists complain of ‘difficult second album syndrome’, this was a follow-up that bottled the lineup’s jaw-breaking live power, and underlined their evolving songwriting on tracks from the tough
‘More Than I Can Take’ to the tender ‘A Long History Of Love’.
The Blues deemed ‘Standing In The Shadows’ “a sure-fire hit”, and they were proved right, with demand for King King pulling the band from Eastern Europe to Canada, for house-rocking sets that included the Ottawa and Mont Tremblant Blues Fests and the Canada AM show. King King, it seemed, were everywhere, whether opening for Brit-blues godfather John Mayall at 34 dates across the UK, or performing for the iconic German TV show Rockpalast. “Our schedule is so busy,” laughs Alan. “But you’ve just got to run with it.”
With King King, the soundbites and statistics only tell half the story. For conclusive proof of this band’s brilliance, you need only play the music – and the smart move is to start with their most powerful and personal album to date, 2015’s ‘Reaching For The Light’. Co-written by all four members, recorded in snatches between touring commitments, and channelling everything from hard-rock to gospel, it represented another step up from a band with no reverse gear, prompting The Blues to declare that King King “have confirmed their place as the alphas of the British blues-rock pack”.
If 2015 was all about the studio, then 2016 is all about the stage, and as Alan, Lindsay, Wayne and Bob embark on a continent-hopping tour schedule, there’s never been a better time to experience their power and majesty from the front row. King King are moving fast. Catch them if you can…
Even though it’s kinda boring to compare everybody with Joe Bonamassa who`s playing Blues, King King deserves it cause they play in the same league!
I think Alan Nimmo’s voice is one of the great glories of British blues
Paul Jones BBC Radio 2