King King gets ready to release their new album with an extensive sold out UK tour including a show at the prestigious Sage Gateshead.
Having played here twice in recent times opening for both Joanne Shaw Taylor and blues legend John Mayall, KingÂ King wasÂ no strangers to this venue. However, tonight it was their turn to top the bill and the room was packed to the rafters. The past twelve months have been an incredible timeÂ for the band, seeing them pick up an astounding five gongs at last yearâ€™s British Blues Awards.
Laurence Jones who also graced the stage at the Sage Gateshead only a few months back with Kenny Wayne Shepherd opened the proceedings. Laurence is about to release his new album What Is Gonna Be which is the follow up to last year’s Temptation album which was produced by non-other than Mike Zito. Laurence showcased new material like “Set It Free” and “Stop Moving The House,” which received a great reception from the Gateshead crowd.
Roger Inniss shined during “Whisper In The Wind” with some phenomenal six string bass work. Laurence had so much skill and flare and this was particularly evident during an incredible cover of “All Along the Watchtower.” Jones will be appearing at the Lead Belly Fest at the Royal Albert Hall later this year and as such take the opportunity to play a cover of “Good Morning Blues” by the great man himself. Laurence is building up a great following in the North East, and will be returning to the region later in the year.
Having recorded the follow-up to Standing In The Shadows over Christmas, this tour has been the first opportunity for the loyal King King fans to hear some of the band’s new material. Tonight the band dedicated their set to Andy Fraser of Free who very sadly passed away recently.
As part of their set the band opened with the incredible â€œHurricaneâ€ whilst also gaveÂ an airing to â€œStranger To Love,â€ â€œIâ€™m Waking Up,â€ and â€œYou Stopped The Rainâ€ all from the new album. Some sublime guitar work was from Alan Nimmo, as you would expect. Nimmo told the sold out Gateshead crowd they have been waiting a long time for this. The large yet intimate room was perfect for the band, the two tiers of balcony surrounded the stage 360 degrees giving the band the feeling that the crowd were almost on top of them. The band took the crowd through a nice and bluesy cover of â€œWait On Timeâ€ by the Fabulous Thunderbirds and it was oozing with Hammond from Bob Fridzema.
King King were known for their superb covers of Frankie Millerâ€™s â€œJealousy,â€ Eric Claptonâ€™s â€œOld Love,â€ and both were featured in the set. WhenÂ Nimmo had the audience eating out of the palms of his hands with a breathtaking solo, his skill and control were incredible. He brought down the volume of his Fender Stratocaster to the point where the audienceÂ could hear a pin drop in the room.
Fans’ favorites from Standing In The Shadows also featured, including the superb â€œMore Than I Can Take,â€ â€œLong History Of Love,â€ alongside â€œDonâ€™t You Get The Feelingâ€ and â€œAll Your Lifeâ€ from the bandâ€™s first album Take My Hand. The band brought the evening to a close with the upbeat and cheerful â€œLet Your Love Shine Inâ€ leaving the crowd pleading for more.
King King are one of the hardest working blues rock bands around at the moment, itâ€™s great to see them getting their just rewards, big things are ahead for this band.