Review: King King featuring Alan Nimmo – Take My Hand

Posted on: Sunday, Mar 13, 2011

KING KING (featuring Alan Nimmo)
“Take My Hand”
(Manhaton Records – Hatman 2026)

Fronted by the big voice and explosive guitar of Alan Nimmo, King King have rapidly become one of the most in-demand bands on the British blues circuit since their formation some two years ago, now here is the debut album, “Take My Hand” – a snapshot of the dynamic live show and a thoroughly enjoyable listen, with its blend of blues, funk and rock.

Apart from Alan Nimmo, the constant factor here is bassman Lindsay Coulson, co-writer on the original songs, who also co-produced the album, together with Nimmo and Ewan Davies, who has previously worked with Arctic Monkeys, Editors and The Noisettes. The rest of the crack outfit on the recording features Dale Storr and Bennett Holland on keyboards, Craig Blundell and Wayne Proctor (drums), with backing vocals from Jacquie Williams.

The band blast out of the blocks on the rocking, foot-to-the-pedal “Lose Control”, delivered with utter conviction from Alan Nimmo and the band, with a powerful vocal and blistering guitar solo; the funk-laden title track “Take My Hand” follows, with Nimmo’s nagging wah-wah guitar work and the horn section of Rick Woolgar (saxophone) and Steve Walker (trumpet), with additional brass by Wonder Brass.

Two of the highlights of a live show I caught are present here – the achingly beautiful John Hiatt song, “Feels Like Rain”, with some lovely keyboards and backing vocals from Bennett Holland; and a lengthy “Old Love”, the co-write between Eric Clapton and Robert Cray – delivered in fine style with another superb vocal from Alan Nimmo and tasteful guitar. Both these songs have been covered a lot, but the King King versions are both excellent.

The pace is taken up on the crunching rocker “Broken Heal”, another Nimmo/Coulson composition, and is followed with a high-octane cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Mr. Highway Man”, with some big-toned harmonica from guest Giles King . . . and is another highlight of the band’s live show . . . and Dale Storr coming into his own with some fine piano playing on this track.

The album ends on a major high with the soulful “Nothing Takes The Place Of You”, penned by Louisiana-born keyboard player Toussaint McCall, and a big hit for him way back in 1967 . . . with Alan Nimmo pouring his soul out on the vocal and Dale Storr’s piano and organ work being of the highest order, and the great rhythm section of Lindsay Coulson and  Wayne Proctor being rock-steady here.

The band will be out in support of “Take My Hand” during April and May . . . for those who have yet to catch them they come highly recommended, as does this album, from one of our best British blues outfits.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.kingking.co.uk

www.manhatonrecords.com

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