King King make a long-awaited return to Carlisle in support of their critically acclaimed new album.

King King continue to go from strength to strength, following the success of their latest offering, Reaching For The Light. The band has received a nomination from Classic Rock Magazine for Best New Band. Next year, they will embark upon an arena tour with Thunder including a date at the prestigious SSE Wembley Arena.

It’s been a while since the band has played in Carlisle, but that doesn’t stop the crowd from coming out in droves on a school night.

Rebecca Downes returns to the North of England following her recent appearance at the Sage Gateshead with Ryan McGarvey to open the show. This is Rebecca’s first appearance on the King King tour having taken over from Ben Poole. She is joined on stage by her amazingly talented five-piece band.

Rebecca’s superb set is made up of material from her debut album, Back to the Start, like the stunning “Fever in the Night” that has a lot of soul and is infused with some subtle Latin elements, almost reminiscent of Santana. Her powerful vocal range is highlighted with the lively “Basement of My Heart.” The incredible “Night Train,” “It’s That Easy,” and the ever so funky “Sweetness” whets our appetite with a taste of what is to come from Rebecca. Her skill and prowess on stage easily wins over the Cumbrian crowd.

With Reaching For The Light, King King’s sound has become progressively more rock orientated and tonight’s set is a testament to that. Taking to the stage with all guns blazing, they launch into “Lose Control” from their debut album, Take My Hand.

It seems only fitting that Alan Nimmo is bedecked in his trademark kilt being are a mere stone throw from the Scottish Border. King King’s set includes a cover of one of Glasgow’s finest singer/songwriters, “Jealousy” by Frankie Miller. This being one of two covers in the set tonight, the other being a superb bluesy rendition of “Wait On Time” by the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

This evening, the band are playing tracks from all three of their studio albums, including the lion’s share of their new album with all but two tracks from Reaching For The Light. King King have introduced the hard rocking “Rush Hour” into their set, which is one of the standout tracks of the night. Alan Nimmo tells the audience they have waited a while to play this live.

Although much of the band’s set tonight is up-tempo like “Crazy” and “Hurricane,” there’s still room for slower tracks like the heartfelt “Lay With Me” highlighting Bob Fridzema’s incredible Hammond playing and the sublime “Long History of Love.” Alan Nimmo dedicates “You Stopped The Rain” to brother Stevie Nimmo and those who have dealt with serious illnesses.

King King close their main set with a spellbinding rendition of “Stranger To Love,” during which Nimmo brings the volume down on his trusty Fender Stratocaster to the point where you could hear a pin drop in the room; the audience transfixed in awe. The band leaves the stage to rapturous applause, before returning for an encore with the incredibly catchy “Let Love In” from their last album, Standing In The Shadows, the crowd singing along all the way.

King King are on fire right now; somebody call the emergency services!

King King
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Rebecca Downes
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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