Review: King King – Reaching For The Light

Posted on: Sunday, May 3, 2015


King King – Reaching For The Light

(Manhaton Records: HATMAN 2038)

Did you hear the one about the Scotsman, two Englishmen and a Dutchman conquering all before them with an explosive new album and sell-out tours galore? If not it’s time to acquaint yourself with King King and “Reaching For The Light” – where the ‘difficult third album syndrome’ is firmly knocked out of the ball park!

Led by the wonderful soulful vocals and great guitar of Alan Nimmo, the rest of the band comprise of Lindsay Coulson (bass), Wayne Proctor (drums & percussion and Bob Fridzema (Hammond organ & keyboards) – together the quartet are conquering all before them in 2015 and “Reaching For The Light” is evidence of this. Just the nine tracks, but quality all the way, and all self-penned by the band, with a co-write for Tommi Regan and a solitary cover.

The band have moved into that ‘hard to tag’ category – not really a true blues band anymore, but with a blues edge – and not a rock band either, but with some ‘classic’ rock edges – if you know what I am getting at! The finely crafted personal tunes are genuinely radio-friendly – ranging from soulful ballads and strutting funky numbers that never overstay their welcome or are bogged down by excessive solos.

Messrs Nimmo, Coulson, Proctor and Fridzema blast into the opening “Hurricane” with vigour – at a short and snappy 3:17 it is a perfect opener to set the scene for what comes after; firstly the driving, rhythmic and melodic “You Stopped The Rain”, which is followed by the superb “Waking Up” –  opening with pounding bass and drums from the ace rhythm section, before Alan Nimmo’s soulful vocal and guitar kick in, underpinned by the delicate keyboard work of Bob Fridzema.

The band rock pretty hard on “Crazy”, where the keyboards and guitar combine for an almost vintage melodic Deep Purple sound, and with a tremendous vocal hook on the chorus. The pretty gospel/soul number “Lay With Me” is another standout, with some gorgeous harmonies and yet again, Alan Nimmo showing as well as a pretty dynamite guitarist is also one of the best singers on the scene without doubt.

The sole cover is a funky rendition of the Paul Carrack/Charlie Dore number, “Just A Little Lie”; this is followed by the longest number on the album – “Take A Look” – which weighs in at 6:18, and is for want of a better word, a very classy ‘power ballad’ – and as previously mentioned definitely crying out for radio play, like most of songs.

This five-star release (if we gave them!) ends with the absolutely superb “Stranger To Love” – which was debuted on the last UK tour. A strutting, bluesy number that recalls the heydays of the beloved Free, with dynamite groove from the rhythm section, more classy keyboards and the icing on the cake – Alan Nimmo singing and playing his heart out, and a quite sublime guitar solo!

Needless, to say, an essential album for all fans of finely-crafted songs and just damn good playing!


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