King King January / February 2019 UK Tour
King King are thrilled to announce their January/February 2019 UK Tour.The 10-date tour will take in amongst others, Nottingham Rock City, London Koko and Glasgow O2 Academy.
Right now, King King are a band breaking into a swagger. You can feel the momentum in their planet-straddling tour schedule. In the sprawling crowds who scream back every word. In the rock-press raves that salute Glasgow’s favourite sons as “the best blues-rock band in the world” (Blues Rock Review). These are high times – but for Alan Nimmo (vocals/guitar), Lindsay Coulson (bass), Wayne Proctor (drums) and Jonny Dyke (organ/piano), there’s no such thing as mission accomplished. “We’re not stopping to smell the roses,” says Alan. “We want to take this band as far as we can – and it definitely feels like things are still moving forward.”
If the year ahead weren’t so busy, King King might allow themselves a moment to reflect on the triumphs of 2017. In another year of quantum leaps, perhaps the main event was Exile & Grace. Mixed by Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Feeder, Therapy?), this fourth album was released October 13th, unveiling a track listing that bristled with sharply observed lyrics and blues-rock firepower. “There’s an underlying theme on the new album,” explains Alan. “Some of the main songs are about the state of the world, y’know, this beautiful blue planet that’s turning into a battlefield. There’s an edgier, rockier feel this time around, but you’ve got the soulful ballads as well. It’s still King King. It’s just what we’re doing now.”
For a band with press plaudits to burn, it was no surprise to see Exile & Grace saluted by the rock media and crowned as Classic Rock’s Blues Album of the Year. Likewise, it was business as usual as the album stormed to the top of the iTunes and Amazon Blues charts. But this time around, there was no mistaking the sense of a band making its commercial breakthrough, as Exile & Grace hijacked the official UK album charts (at #31), putting King King amongst the A-list and firmly onto the mainstream radar.
Not only the jewel in their studio catalogue, Exile & Grace is also giving King King’s setlists a shot in the arm, as the band roll out on a white-knuckle 2018 tour schedule that would make lesser road warriors quake. With the addition of respected keys man Jonny Dyke (ex-James Morrison/Elkie Brooks), they’re wasting no time, hitting the New Year running with a five-date UK tour that kicks off at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire, then rolling on to major cities across Europe (“We just need to believe in that old adage from Wayne’s World – if you build it, they will come,” says Alan of the auspicious venues in the diary. “We’ve got the ambition and drive to make it work”). Following a summer of festival action, September will see the boys support the mighty Europe on the Walk The Earth tour, warming up the crowds everywhere from Glasgow Barrowlands to the Royal Albert Hall.
It’s the sort of itinerary that working rock bands dream of. But then, there’s been no shortage of pinch-yourself moments for King King, ever since the band’s touchdown at the 2010 Monaghan Blues Festival and the following year’s British Blues Award-winning debut album, Take My Hand (declared “tremendous” by Maverick). In 2013, Standing In The Shadows underlined the collective’s sharpening songcraft on tracks like the muscular More Than I Can Take and the bruised Long History Of Love, while their live profile exploded in a run under British blues kingpin John Mayall. “That tour was a career-changing experience for us,” reflects Alan. “Y’know, to support the guy who was responsible for giving the world Eric Clapton and Peter Green. As soon as it was finished, all of a sudden, we found ourselves playing to a larger audience – and it was thanks to John.”
With the market hungry for more, King King struck back fast with 2015’s Reaching For The Light: a third album that pinballed between hard-rock and gospel, infiltrated Best Album polls by Classic Rock, The Blues and Detroit’s Blues Rock Review – and secured a nomination in the Best New Band category at that year’s coveted Classic Rock Roll Of Honour. “With each album, each year and every time we write songs,” says Alan, “we’re always striving to get better.”
That goes for the stage, too. Anyone who has caught King King live in recent times will vouch for their ability to conquer any venue. In 2016, the band’s schedule saw their own headline tours combined with some unforgettable one-offs, including an all-star set at Mumbai’s Mahindra Festival and five UK arena shows with hard-rock heroes, Thunder. “It was amazing to be onstage in India, with Keb’ Mo’ telling you to take a guitar solo and Joss Stone putting her arm around you,” reflects Alan. “Playing Wembley Arena with Thunder leaves me speechless even now. To walk onstage and say, ‘Hello Wembley!’ – that was ridiculous. It was a dream come true.”
With the line-up drilled to near-telepathy, May 2016 was also the perfect juncture to act on the long-running fan demands for a live album. “We’ve been asked for one so many times,” reflects Alan, “and with King King Live, I think we really managed to capture the vibe of that night at the Glasgow O2 ABC and get it down on to a CD. But I’ve got to admit, I was really surprised by the reaction that album got, from the fans and the media. It went to #1 in the Amazon Blues Chart as soon as it came out… above The Rolling Stones! And it was like, ‘What just happened?’”
No backslaps. No laps of honour. No smelling the roses.
In 2017 King King released “Exile & Grace” album which showcased to rock radio hit singles “(She Don’t) Gimmie No Lovin’” and “Long Time Running”. In 2018 the band walked away with three awards at the UK Blues Awards including Blues Band of the Year, Blues Album of the Year and Blues Songwriter of the Year (Alan Nimmo).
During the summer of 2018, the band performed over 20 festivals throughout Europe and in September and October, was special guest on Europe’s “Walk The Earth 2018” UK and European Tour.Propelled by the acclaim of Exile & Grace and their extraordinary chemistry, King King are ready to swagger into 2019, and raise the stakes as their story unfolds. “This is the next chapter in King King’s journey,” says Alan, “We want to take this band as far as we can.”