Live review: Laurence Jones / King King – The Live Rooms, Chester – Saturday, 21st February

Posted on: Sunday, Feb 22, 2015

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The third date of the King King tour saw an amazing 450 sell out at The Live Rooms in Chester, with fans travelling from afar to catch Alan Nimmo’s outfit, who, with their third album imminent, are absolutely at the ‘top of the game’. The band’s thrilling mix of blues, rock and soul instantly won over the packed house who were treated to a near two-hour masterclass of songs from both current albums and some from the forthcoming “Reaching For The Light”, which is out in May, though available at gigs.

The band, apart from Alan Nimmo on guitar and vocals, comprises of Lindsay Coulson (bass), Wayne Proctor (drums and backing vocals) and Bob Fridzema (keyboards and backing vocals) . . . and what a ‘well-oiled’ outfit they are . . . and in Nimmo, surely one of the best front men around on the British live circuit, with his superbly soulful voice and terrific guitar playing . . . and some gentle Glaswegian verbal ‘jousting’ with the audience.

The highlights were too plentiful to mention here, but they kicked off in rousing fashion with the rocking “Hurricane”, from the new album; and two other gems featured from it were the excellent “Waking Up” and a beauty in the shape of the lengthy “Stranger To Love”, which reminded me of the great British outfit Free in their pomp, the song having the same feel and groove to it.

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All the bands ‘big’ songs were played, with a stunning “A Long History Of Love” from the second album, “Standing In The Shadows” – on which Alan Nimmo’s afore-mentioned soulful voice shines; and the equally brilliant Frankie Miller tune, “Jealousy”, from the same album. The jaunty, poppy “Can’t Keep From Trying” was also very well received by the full house present; and also the swaggering rocker “More Than I Can Take”.

The band are all accomplished musicians, and in Coulson and Proctor without doubt one of the best rhythm sections around; who together with Dutch keyboard player, Fridzema, are the perfect foils for Alan Nimmo . . . a big man and a big talent!!

The set showstopper remains the cover of Eric Clapton and Robert Cray’s “Old Love”, presented here over a lengthy 17 minutes as Nimmo took the guitar down to a whisper and even, nearly, managed to get complete silence in the room, including the private party on the venue balcony . . . no mean feat with 450 people present. If you can get to catch the band on this tour I would heartily recommend it to you . . . a great band for sure!

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Opening up the evening was young guitarist  and Ruf Records artist, Laurence Jones and his very fine band, comprising of Roger Inniss (bass) and Miri Miettinen (drums). Highlights of a very well received set included a lovely song dedicated to his late uncle, “Whisper In The Wind” – which featured some dynamic six-string bass playing from Inniss; a lengthy, Hendrix-style take on Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” – which also is on the recent “Blues Caravan 2014” CD/DVD, performed by Jones, Christina Skjolberg and Albert Castiglia; and the tale of a drunken walk home, the rocker, “Moving The House”.

This young fellow has some 180 dates on the book for this year, so look out for him again!

GRAHAME RHODES

http://www.kingkingblues.com/Home.html

http://www.laurencejonesmusic.com/

https://www.theliverooms.com/

(All photographs courtesy of Geoff Oldfield)

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