Sky Won’t Fall
About three years back, our old friend and fellow local Mat Beable invited me to see a Borderline gig by The Nimmo Brothers. Many years previous I had reviewed an early album by the group and if memory serves I found half of it a bit too SRV-reverential and the rest exciting, colourful, memorable and above all, soulful. At the London show Mat was on bass. The way that Alan and Stevie sang and played individually was stunning but when they sang together and traded axe runs the effect was phenomenal. So pleasing it is that Alan Nimmo and his King King outfit are making fine records and performing electric shows and even better that Stevie has released this collection and is touring with the likes of Ben Poole and Robin Trower.
‘Sky Won’t Fall’ finds Stevie in fine voice, playing out in many moods and presenting new songs. Production is by Nimmo and Wayne Proctor..which means the songs are delivered in a crisp and purposeful manner and can be played as loud as you like. ‘Chains Of Hope’ starts with a feedback squall and legato note before a Bad Company style riff punches in and the distinctive Stevie Nimmo pipes deliver the song. It’s a fat sound with clattering drums and heavy bass. At 3:43 the guitar solo whines away briefly. It’s an exhilarating start to the record. ‘Roll The Dice Again’ is the sort of number you can get away with if you have drummer as adept as Craig Bacon and it’s steady-rockin’ tune that defies the listener not to nod along ; ‘Change’ is a more reflective song, more in Cray territory with a light touch and a much lighter vocal. ‘Running On Back To You’ is laidback funk with Leslie’d guitar and Nimmo giving us a tale of regret and possibly redemption. ‘Walk The Thin Line’ is a catchy country rock composition and falls at the right place in the sequence, the pedal steel is a nice touch ; ‘I’ll Pray For You’ is taken at a Sly Stone tempo with flanged chording and maybe the best vocal on the set. The backing singing is just right and I really rate this one, must be a live favourite and then Stevie should get Michael McDonald to record it ! ‘Still Hungry’ is a greasy burst of octave’d fuzz chord Brit Blues Rock, noting too original but put over to maximum effect ; ‘Gambler’s Roll’ is a taciturn blues workout on a betting theme, painting monochrome picture of a dodgy situation, what a great singer he is, displaying a touch of the late James Dewar here, I reckon ‘Lovin’ Might Do Us Good’ is an upbeat selection and the right vocal timbre to put it over. This sort of cut balances out the more black-hearted or sombre material. ‘Love You More Tonight’ closes the programme with stealthy acoustic and a John Prine ambience and very nice too This is as good a power trio record of proper songs as you’ll hear this year and ‘I’ll Pray For You’ is a real gem, in my humble opinion. Of course, the stage is the natural domain of these friendly blues-rock creatures and I’d recommend a check of the gig listings, this act is what live music is all about Pete Sargeant