King King were at The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh tonight as part of their extensive 2021/22 touring schedule and, as usual, their fans old and new came out to support them after what has been far too long a time off the road for the band. The events of the last 18 months or so have affected everyone in one way or another, and the pleasure of the band being back on stage, where they belong, playing to their fans was obvious. King King were happy to be back and their audience was happy to have them back as a kilted Alan Nimmo took centre stage to the backdrop of AC/DC’s "Highway to Hell".
The band may not have been touring for a while, but they have been far from idle, and this tour gives the band the opportunity to play live for the first time songs from their latest album “Maverick” which was released in November 2020. There are some fine songs on this new album and we were given a few of them in tonight’s set list, among them “Never Give In” and “Whatever It Takes To Survive”, and both are destined to become classic King King must-have songs on future tours. For me though, one of the stand out songs from tonight was the reflective “When My Winter Comes” from this new album.
King King have already achieved more than many bands ever do, multiple awards testify to that fact, but always the band keep striving not for more awards, but simply to grow and develop as a band and see where that takes them, and listening to some of their earlier songs such as “A Long History of Love”, “Coming Home (Rest Your Eyes)” and “Waking Up” it is obvious why the band have achieved so much. Fine songs and a very tight band performing on stage are just part of the picture though, something else is happening with King King when you go to one of their shows, and that is their connectivity with their audience and the good natured humour that is shared throughout the whole evening. The ability to create that atmosphere at a show is always for me what makes any King King performance a little special.
As every King King fan knows, the band have seen a few line-up changes over the last few years, but rest assured, this current one of Alan Nimmo (vocals/guitar), Zander Greenshields (bass), Stevie Nimmo (guitar), Andrew Scott (drums) and Jonny Dyke (organ/piano) is more than ready for the next step upwards in the band’s success story.
Opening this show was When Rivers Meet, a blues/rock duo comprised of Grace and Aaron Bond. This duo have been attracting a lot of attention recently, and from their 30 minute performance slot here, it is obvious to see why as there is an obvious chemistry and energy between the two here that for some reason reminds me of watching early Ike and Tina Turner performances.
WRM have some solid songs like their previous two singles, “Battleground” and “Did I Break The Law”, and material from their debut album “We Fly Free”, which is one I need to add to my buy list now. Where the future will take WRM is going to be interesting as Aaron not only has a very identifiable style on guitar but Grace (who also plays guitar) has one of the most interesting rock/blues voices that I have heard in a long time.
For the moment though, some paths are clear for the duo; their second album “Saving Grace” is due to be released on November 19th and the band are headlining their own tour in 2022. Whatever the future holds for Grace and Aaron Bond, I am sure that it will be following their dreams of not conforming to expected stereotypes and taking their music wherever people want to listen to it.
Review by Tom King (c) 2021
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