King King @ Club Academy
On a warm late spring evening we head out in search of some South African blues and end up finding Nimmo!
Words and photos: Anthony funked up Firmin
With an audience full of blues fans, the South African guitarist was on to a winner before he hit the stage; add to that some cracking old tunes and some from the new album, IntroVertigo, he and his band were bound to cruise through their set.
Songs such as Fetch Your Spade and Backbite were audience favourites but the new single went down well too with it’s catchy groove and funky clavinet sound will ensure it will be a favourite with the rock radio stations. In between these bouncier numbers he mixes things up with some slower blues tunes, all of which are warmly received by the audience.
To me his sound is definitely from the Stevie Ray Vaughan school of blues, no bad thing, which Dan has developed it into his own style and in the set finale he shows off some of his more interesting guitar playing techniques and trickery.
Why the bloody hell have I not seen this band live before? The records are good, but live, this band are on another level altogether!
More Than I Can Take is excellent and when he plays the very personal You Stopped The Rain the courage, resolve and strength of Alan Nimmo’s brother Stevie shines through. His influences shine through too with part of Neil Young’s solo from Hurricane coming through the song.
Frankie Miller is acknowledged with a cover of Jealousy and the passion from the kilted front man in touching everyone is shown in the crowds response. There is no lack of engagement or Glaswegian humour from Nimmo either helping to keep everyone entertained – he is a larger than life blues man!
The music then ascends into a serious funk rock groove – play that funky music Glaswegian boy – a jam that wouldn’t be out of place with Prince or George Clinton. King King is in the house and on the money with heads nodding and people dancing along.
(Don’t Be A) Stranger To Love is straight out of the late 70’s Whitesnake song book (wake up and smell the grapefruit Mr Coverdale) with the audience silent enough that his unamplified electric guitar is heard at the back of the full room; this then slides effortlessly into a Peter Frampton-esque solo. He wears his influences on his sleeve but blends them into the music and makes them his own.
But King King isn’t just Alan Nimmo; the whole band were all involved in the writing and recording of the last album and their cohesion within the band framework is crystal clear on stage. Lindsay Coulson, Wayne Proctor and Bob Fridzema create a substantial blues canvas that Nimmo can stomp all over in his big boots and even bigger guitar sound.
With superb songs, a fine live performance, great stage presence that has soul and shines brightly, King King are going to be huge – I found Nimmo, now you need to!