king-king-live

King King have announced that they’ll release their first-ever live album next month.

´King King Live´ was recorded at Glasgow’s O2 ABC on May 14 this year and comes on 2CD, while a DVD recorded at the Holmfirth Picturedrome on April 13, will also be bundled with the package.

Lead singer Alan Nimmo says: “We are excited about King King Live because it’s the first time we’ve ever released a live album. It’s a great testament to how our audiences drive us on to perform to the best of our abilities.

“The audience reaction to the live performances is amazing. This release couldn’t have been possible without them.”

King King Live will be released on October 21 via Manhaton Records and is now available for pre-order from Amazon.

In addition, King King have issued a video of their Waking Up, which features on the bonus DVD. Watch it below.

King King will head out on a 12-date UK tour with Broken Witt Rebels in November in support of 2015 album Reaching For The Light.

King King Live tracklist

CD1
Lose Control
Wait On Time
Waking Up
Rush Hour
Long History of Love
More Than I Can Take

CD2
Lose Control
Waking Up
Rush Hour
A Long History Of Love
More Than I Can Take
You Stopped The Rain
Jealousy
Crazy
All Your Life
Stranger to Love
Old Love
Let Love In

DVD
Lose Control
Waking Up
Rush Hour
A Long History Of Love
More Than I Can Take
You Stopped The Rain
Jealousy
Crazy
All Your Life
Stranger to Love
Old Love
Let Love In

king-king-photo-by-rob-blackham
Photo by Rob Blackham

HENRY YATES CHRONICLES THE MAKING OF “KING KING LIVE”

Rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t run like clockwork. The sweetest victories are snatched from the jaws of defeat. The greatest escapes start with backs to the wall. “King King Live” might sound like a triumphant home-run from a band on top of the world. In reality, there were bumps in the road all the way to this new live release – and perhaps that’s why these performances crackle with defiant brilliance. “If everything was to run smoothly during the recording process,” says frontman Alan Nimmo, “then it just wouldn’t be a King King album…”

If ever a modern band warranted the live-album treatment, it was surely King King. Since the Glasgow-based blues-rockers made their stage debut with a thrilling touchdown at the 2010 Monaghan Blues Festival, the requests have come ever thicker and faster. “We pride ourselves on always delivering a great live show for our fans,” says Alan, “and that old question – ‘When are you going to do a live album?’ – has been asked more and more.”

By 2016, everything had aligned. The line-up of Alan Nimmo (vocals/guitar), Lindsay Coulson (bass), Bob Fridzema (keyboards) and Wayne Proctor (drums) was a four-headed force of nature, having perfected their telepathic push-and-pull on international stages from Wembley Arena to Mumbai’s Mahindra Blues Festival. With three acclaimed albums in the tank – 2011’s “Take My Hand”, 2013’s “Standing In The Shadows” and 2015’s “Reaching For The Light” – their set lists were solid gold. “A live album is something we always wanted to do eventually,” notes Alan, “so we thought, ‘Why not? Let’s do it now!’”

Yorkshire’s Holmfirth Picturedrome was duly booked for April, the plan hatched to record an album and film a DVD on consecutive nights. “Holmfirth for us boys was an easy choice,” reasons Alan. “We’d played there a few times and we always liked it as a venue. Great acoustics, great-looking for filming purposes, and in the past we’ve always had fantastic audiences there. So what wasn’t to like about it…?”

But they hadn’t figured on the gremlins. A day of technical issues bled into a first-night performance that Lindsay remembers as “marred by difficult monitoring and random feedback”. Revisiting the tapes, the four members had to admit the performance was missing the spark that made King King so vital live. “You have to be brutally honest and objective,” considers Alan. “Sometimes you have to push yourself and say, ‘We can do better than this’. We thought that we had blown it and we weren’t going to have anything useable, but we reached down deep.”

A second day of lighting and sound problems suggested impending doom for the DVD shoot. When the band stepped onstage, though, the key turned in the ignition, the storm clouds parted and the magic flooded back. So began a set that took in everything from the stalking “Waking Up” to the tender “A Long History Of Love”. “The band were firing on all cylinders,” remembers Alan. “It was like it was meant to be. One special memory for me was when we finished playing “You Stopped The Rain”, a song written about my big brother, Stevie. He was very kindly acting as my guitar tech that night and when I changed guitars, he told me that was the best he’d ever heard us perform it. That meant a great deal to me.”

So the DVD shoot was complete – but that still left the CD to contend with. As King King crossed the UK on their May tour, venues in Lincoln and Gateshead were wired for sound, and a pair of firecracker gigs caught in the bottle. But as the tour bus neared the band’s stamping-ground of Glasgow – and the city’s iconic O2 ABC venue – the members felt the hand of destiny. “The significance of choosing Glasgow speaks for itself,” says Alan. “It was a dream come true to record a live album at home. What also makes it special is that Glasgow seems to be famous for people recording live albums there: one of the big ones for me is AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It”. The ABC is a great venue – and where else could we find a thousand crazy Scots making the ground shake with the noise they made for us…?”

Indeed, when the four members emerged from the shadows into the spotlight on May 14th, the reception was beyond thunderous, with a capacity crowd toasting the band who had put Scottish rock back onto the map. “The band performed fantastically, the sound was right and everything seemed to fall into place,” recalls Alan. “But the one thing that made it really work was just how amazing the audience were. They gave us their all, and that lifted us to another plane. When we performed “Rush Hour” and everyone was singing along, it was so loud: it made me so proud to be there and to be a Scotsman. I was literally fighting back the tears. It was a truly great moment that will be with me for the rest of my life.”

They’re no slouches in the studio, of course. But “King King Live” is stone-cold proof of a band born for the stage, showcasing songs from their thrilling six-year run with added emotional rocket-fuel. “In the studio,” says Alan, “we pay a lot of attention to detail and we try to create something that will last forever. But live, you have to play from your heart and really emote, to help the audience see, hear and believe in what you’re trying to put across. For me, the most important part of playing live is to capture the emotion and the vibe. We’re so happy with the outcome. I think we managed to catch the magic and the atmosphere on both nights.”

And how. “King King Live” is the next best thing to being there yourself, bottling the thrill of hanging off the security rail, feeling the speakers flap your trouser legs and sensing the tinnitus in the post. King King have just pulled off the classic live album they’ve been threatening since the start. Enjoy the show…