King King Plus Special Guest Ben Poole
Wednesday 11th November 2015
O2 Academy Islington, Islington, London, United Kingdom
This evening was very special for King King for two reasons; firstly King King were nominated for ‘Best New Band’ at The Classic Rock Honours List 2015 and the award ceremony was taking place at The Roundhouse in Camden the same evening and secondly they were playing a sold-out show at O2 Academy Islington and it was tour date number fifteen of a a very successful nineteen-date UK tour.
One quick thing to mention is that when it comes to merchandise in terms of product variety and price King King are has got it nailed down to a T. All three albums on sale for £10 each, 180g vinyl of ‘Reaching For The Light’, a selection of T-Shirts with their recognizable band logo, brand new limited edition ‘Reaching For The Light’ hoodies and finally large A3 posters with all of the tour dates and signed by the band for £3 each! They were quickly snapped up and when we arrived the guy at the desk told us that they were so popular he ran out of elastic bands!
Before King King though we were treated to a set by Manhaton Records record label mate and friend Ben Poole and his band in a rock power trio format. ‘Let’s Go Upstairs’ was a funky opening number as Ben let rip on a Fender Telecaster. The lead vocal on ‘I’m Gonna Win You Over’ was subtle and blended well the tight rhythm section courtesy of Matt Beable’s bass and Craig Bacon’s drums.
‘I Ain’t Gonna Love Nobody No More’ showcased Ben’s original voice and what’s great is the fact that he is not trying to imitate or copy someone else which is really refreshing to hear. A highlight of Ben’s set was the punchy rock song ‘Somebody’s Been Lying To Me’ which saw Ben and the band gel completely as a blues rock band and for people who hadn’t seen or heard of The Ben Poole Band before that night it confirmed why they are popular on the live music circuit.
Ben then explained that he was fortunate enough to play with and be friends with the late guitarist Gary Moore and the London crowd cheered loudly. He then dedicated the beautifully written ‘Time Might Never Come’ to Moore and it was well received by the audience. I did feel that the guitar solo went on a bit too long but that’s a minor comment really. Overall, Ben Poole was the perfect opening act for this King King tour and on this form Ben will go far when he tours the UK in his own right and releases a new album.
After a short interval the house lights went down and the powerful four-piece took to the stage to raucous applause as lead vocalist and guitarist Alan Nimmo plugged in his axe. After a short technical delay the band launched into ‘Lose Control’ which is the first track on their 2011 debut album ‘Take My Hand’. Bob Fridzema’s rich Hammond organ sound reminded me of The Blues Brothers films and Alan Nimmo’s Paul Rodgers’s -esque vocals. Alan then thanked Ben Poole and his band for joining them on the tour before playing ‘Waking Up’ my favourite track from the new album ‘Reaching For The Light’. Drummer Wayne Proctor and Bob Fridzema provided crisp backing vocals and Lindsay Coulson laid down a funky bass line.
The beautifully written ‘Rush Hour’ is an extremely strong number which was written by a fifteen year old Alan Nimmo and if he was writing such impressive material at such a young age then his songwriting ability was only going to get stronger and stronger as the years went on. Nimmo’s guitar solo on the incredibly catchy ‘More Than I Can Take’ and the heartbreaking ‘Lay With Me’ was dedicated to an absent friend and had a real Paul Carrack vibe. Fridzema’s organ solo was really classy whilst Wayne Proctor was a demon on the drums on ‘Hurricane’.
Alan explained that growing up in Glasgow he was a fan of Frankie Miller and that then transitioned to their version of ‘Jealousy’ which is popular on the blues rock live circuit at the moment. ‘You Stopped the Rain’ was a co-write by brothers Alan and Stevie Nimmo and was dedicated to anyone who has suffered or know someone who has had a long illness.
‘This one’s been quite popular on Planet Rock’ Alan quipped before they played the radio-hit ‘Crazy’ and ‘All Your Life’ from their debut album made me think of driving. Alan then told us that he often gets asked whether he thinks the blues is still alive and he then said ‘Well it’s a Wednesday night and this place is sold out!’ The crowd erupted especially when he said that as long the music comes from the heart it doesn’t matter about who it’s by or what genre it is. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
‘Stranger To Love’ allowed us to witness Alan playing his guitar without any amplification and as the crowd became silent the song slowly built up to a grand finish with Bob Fridzema’s rich keyboard sound at the forefront. They left the stage and this London crowd began singing ‘King King! King King!’ to the tune of ‘Ola Ola’ and when they did return Alan went ‘I could listen to this all night!’ Closing their set with the anthemic ‘Let Love In’ and the audience sang back the chorus perfectly.
King King thanked the crowd for not just supporting them but for also supporting live music. The truth is with legislation and policy as it is and the need for ‘bums on sits’, music venues get so heavily regulated that they can struggle financially and then they can close due to red tape or lack of custom. A recent casualty of this was The Cellars in Eastney and it is still happening up and down the UK.
Then both King King and Ben Poole met fans at their merchandise desks and posed for photos which is always fantastic to see. It is no surprise then that King King will be going on an arena tour in February 2016 with Thunder and Terrorvision and that will introduce them to a brand new audience. On the train home, we read online that King King didn’t win the Best New Band award at The Classic Rock Roll of Honour 2015 but that didn’t matter because they reigned supreme at 02 Academy Islington and no one can take that live music crown away from them.
King King will be the special guests for Gun at Barrowlands, Glasgow, Scotland on Friday 18th December 2015. Visit King King’s website and Facebook page for more information.
King King’s third studio album ‘Reaching For The Light’ is out now on CD and 180 gram vinyl on Manhaton Records. King King will be special guests on Thunder’s UK Arena Tour alongside Terrorvision in February 2016 at the following venues:
Monday 15th February 2016 – Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom http://www.trch.co.uk/index.aspx?articleid=30303
Tuesday 16th February 2016 – Colston Hall, Bristol, United Kingdom http://www.colstonhall.org/shows/thunder-2/
Thursday 18th February 2016 – Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, Scotland http://www.secc.co.uk/attend/event-listings/exhibition-details.aspx?EventID=2866&SpecialEvent=True&EventName=Thunder
Friday 19th February 2016 – Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, United Kingdom http://www.sheffieldarena.co.uk/whats-on/thunder-5477/
Saturday 20th February 2016 – SSE Arena Wembley , London, United Kingdom http://www.ssearena.co.uk/events/detail/thunder
King King will follow up their special guest appearances on Thunder’s UK Arena Tour with a run of 6 headline tour dates in March 2016 at the following locations:
Wednesday 9th March 2016 –(With Laurence Jones), Epstein Theatre, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Thursday 10th March 2016 – (With Laurence Jones), The Fleece, Bristol, United Kingdom
Friday 11th March 2016 – (With Laurence Jones), Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, United Kingdom
Saturday 12th March 2016 – (With Laurence Jones), The Box, Crewe, United Kingdom
Friday 17th March 2016 – (With Laurence Jones), The Globe, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Saturday 18th March 2016 – (With Laurence Jones), Picturedrome, Holmfirth, United Kingdom
Sunday 19th March 2016 – (With Laurence Jones), ARC, Stockton-On-Tees, United Kingdom
All tickets for these dates are priced at £22.00 and available to purchase now on Ents24: https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/king-king#Events,4531335,4533443,4532850,4532582,4531363,4532586,4534690,4534691,4534692,4534693,4534694,4534695,4534696,4534697
In addition, King King will be embarking on an 8-date nationwide in May 2016 UK tour which is Planet Rock Live presents in association with Gig Cartel and Manhaton Records: King King plus very special guest Dan Patlanksy. The tour will stop at the following venues:
Thursday 12th May 2016 – Manchester Academy, Manchester, United Kingdom
Friday 13th May 2016 – The Sage, Gateshead, United Kingdom
Saturday 14th May 2016 – O2 ABC, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Sunday 15th May 2016 – City Hall, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Wednesday 18th May 2016 – Guildhall, Gloucester, United Kingdom
Thursday 19th May 2016 – The Hawth, Crawley, United Kingdom
Friday 20th May 2016 – City Hall, Salisbury, United Kingdom
Saturday 21st May 2016 – Town Hall, Birmingham, United Kingdom
All tickets are priced at £20.00 and are available to purchase online at www.gigcartel.com or on the 24-hour Box Office on 0844 478 0898 on. Planet Rock will run a 48-hour ticket pre-sale for their listeners from Wednesday 18th November 2015. This 48-hour ticket pre-sale will also be avalible on Ents24 at 9.oo AM on Wednesday 18th November 2015 here: https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/king-king#Events,4531335,4533443,4532850,4532582,4531363,4532586,4534690,4534691,4534692,4534693,4534694,4534695,4534696,4534697
For more information and merchandise visit: http://www.kingking.co.uk/
Ben Poole will be releasing a new album in early 2016 on Manhaton Records. Stevie Nimmo (the brother of Alan Nimmo) will also be releasing a new album at the same time also on Manhaton Records and this will coincide with a vast co-headline tour of the UK in 2016 at the following venues:
Thursday 26th November 2015 – Ben Poole, The Talking Heads, Southampton, United Kingdom http://talkingheads.vticket.co.uk/
Friday 27th November 2016 – Ben Poole, Bridport Arts Centre, Bridport, United Kingdom https://www.bridport-arts.com/
Saturday 9th January 2016 – Ben Poole, Guildhall, Lichfield, United Kingdom http://lichfieldarts.org.uk/
Thursday 4th February 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Bootleggers Bar, Kendal, United Kingdom http://www.bootleggersbar.com/
Friday 5th February 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Fibbers, York, United Kingdom http://www.fibbers.co.uk/
Sunday 7th February 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), The Musician, Leicester, United Kingdom http://www.themusicianpub.co.uk/
Thursday 11th February 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), The Half Moon, Putney, United Kingdom http://www.geronimo-inns.co.uk/london-the-half-moon/
Friday 12th February 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), The Forum, Darlington, United Kingdom http://www.theforumonline.co.uk/
Saturday 13th February 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Bingley Arts Centre, Bingley, United Kingdom http://www.bingleyartscentre.co.uk/
Sunday 14th February 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Southern Pavilion, Worthing, United Kingdom https://www.facebook.com/worthingpiersouthernpavilion/
Sunday 13th March 2016 – Ben Poole (Stage Time 1pm) Legends of Rock 2015, Vauxhall 5* Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth, United Kingdom http://www.classicrocktours.co.uk/legends_of_rock/venue.html
Thursday 17th March 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham, United Kingdom http://ropetacklecentre.co.uk/
Friday 18th March 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Ropery Hall, Barton Upon Humber, United Kingdom http://www.roperyhall.co.uk/
Saturday 19th March 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Mickleton RnB, Durham, United Kingdom https://www.facebook.com/mickletonrnb/
Sunday 20th March 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Green Hotel, Kinross, United Kingdom http://www.green-hotel.com/
Monday 21st March 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Haven, Oxford, United Kingdom http://www.havenclub.co.uk/
Thursday 28th April 2016 – Ben Poole, The Latest Music Bar, Brighton, United Kingdom http://thelatest.co.uk/musicbar/
Friday 29th April 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Boom Boom Club, Sutton, United Kingdom http://feenstra.co.uk/boomboom/
Saturday 30th April 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline),The Town Hall, Selby, United Kingdom http://www.selbytownhall.co.uk/
Thursday 5th May 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), The Tolboth, Stirling, United Kingdom http://tolbooth.stirling.gov.uk/
Friday 6th May 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), The Garage, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom http://garageglasgow.co.uk/
Saturday 7th May 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Cafe Drummond, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom http://www.cafedrummond.com/home/
Wednesday 11th May 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Vonnies, Cheltenham, United Kingdom http://charltonkingsclub.co.uk/
Thursday 12th May 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Beaverwood, Chiselhurst, United Kingdom http://www.feenstra.co.uk/chislehurst/index_f.htm
Friday 13th May 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Talking Heads, Southampton, United Kingdom http://talkingheads.vticket.co.uk/
Saturday 14th May 2016 – Ben Poole and Stevie Nimmo (Co-Headline), Hartlepool Supporters Club, Hartlepool, United Kingdom
Saturday 28th May 2016 – Ben Poole, Reivers Rock and Blues Festival, Clennell Country House, Morpeth, United Kingdom
Sunday 29th May 2016 – Ben Poole, New Cross Inn, London, United Kingdom http://tickets.ents24.com/event/ben-poole-support/new-cross-inn/921116?aff=ents24&inf=-a69fae944553d6c6
For more information visit: http://www.benpooleband.com/
For more images please visit www.kieran-white.com