King King & Dan Patlansky
13th May 2016
The new job is making it harder and harder to fit in going to gigs; which is a real downside I never expected; but getting to see King King again; and at the Sage Gateshead was something I would; and did move Heaven and Earth for.
The opening act, Dan Patlansky has been getting some really positive mentions in the Press recently; and his latest album intrigued me enough to get to the venue bright and early.
The rather handsome South African opened his set with a long slow, burning instrumental that showcased everything that would follow…….loads of intricate fret work and the man himself twisting and contorting his face to match every note squeezed out of his battered Telecaster.
While Patlansky is very good at what he does; apart from two songs; the harmonious Still Won’t Be a Man and (possibly) Lonely Nights; I was left a bit nonplussed by it all.
King King on the other hand tick all of the boxes I love about Blues Rock – a band who can play their instruments singularly and collectively as well as anyone on on the planet; songs that ‘mean something’ and a front man who makes me look gorgeous!
The indomitable kilt wearing Alan Nimmo was greeted like a conquering hero by the sold out crowd as soon as he made his way onto the stage; and there was a roar of recognition for opening song Lose Control; and when the cheering died down afterwards a grinning Nimmo thanked the audience; but told them to get even louder as the gig was being recorded for a live album…..a request which was taken to heart by the adoring fans.
Ever the showman; Nimmo prowls the stage like an extra from Braveheart as the other three band members provide a musical spine that most bandleaders can only dream of.
I was surprised that the magnificent Rush Hour was song #5 tonight; and Nimmo’s guitar playing was reminiscent of Taste era Rory Gallagher and the ‘ever cool’ Lindsay Coulson provided what used to be known as some ‘throbbing bass’ and the result was astounding; and the gig had hardly had time to warm up.
While most of the songs tonight came from the latest Reaching For The Light Album (which Alan may have mentioned was ‘up for an Award’ or two) but we also got to hear a wonderful performance of A Long History of Love, from Standing In The Shadows with Bob Fridzema nearly making his Hammond bleed; such was the intensity of his playing; and the cheers before and after nearly took the roof off the building.
While Alan Nimmo showed his sensitive side with the beautiful You Stopped The Rain; written and dedicated to elder Nimmo Brother Stevie; this was Friday night and this crowd wanted to Rock and Rock they got when the band cranked the amps to 11 for Hurricane and there wasn’t a face not smiling or singing along at the end.
Then; just to prove how talented he is (and the band too), Nimmo Jr swapped his platinum Strat for a Gold lame Gibson Les Paul to honour his hero and original Glaswegian Rock Star, Frankie Miller….and this adaptation of Jealousy was stunning beyond belief.
The Strat came back for a spine tingling You Drive Me Crazy and the Gran and Granddad dancing spread like wildfire around the packed room.
The night had flown by and I couldn’t believe my watch when Nimmo introduced the last song of the evening; Stranger to Love and a magnificent closing song it was to.
After the obligatory ‘will they/won’t they’ charade; the band returned with a rousing happy-clappy-sing-along Let Love In; and 1,500 fans and a quartet of exceptional musicians all became one…..and the joy of live music will live on with gigs and bands like this.
A band of many nations; but King King play dirty Chicago Blues, but straight outta the mean streets of Glasgow.