Not even a cold November evening, with a primordial mist curling through the streets, could dispel the fervent expectation of watching Glasgow blues giants King King and their Special Guests Broken Witt Rebels take The Chester Live Rooms by storm.
Indeed with the postponement of some gigs due to King King front man Alan Nimmo having recently undergone minor throat surgery the fact the gig was going ahead was cause for celebration. Such is the popularity and reputation for excellence that the band have forged in what is a relatively short time.
Forging a similar following and rep are Birmingham band Broken Witt Rebels. With just two EPs to their name and having been formed on a full time basis only since the turn of the year, here is a band intent on setting the bar for their up-and-coming peers as high as is realistically possible. Their power, range and delivery – as seen with Guns and Georgia Pine alone – is phenomenal. Danny Core’s vocals are gritty, dirty and outstandingly driven towards creating a mood that’s built to rock.
James Tranter’s guitar work – particularly when backed up by Core’s own – is a thing of beauty. Jagged. Tough. Edgy. It brings out a dangerous element to lyrics that are at once inordinately complex but nonetheless as clear as they are catchy. Take a listen to Low or Turn Me On which sees Luke Davis on bass and James Dudley on drums coming to the fore and underpinning it all with heart thumping aplomb and dare to be unimpressed.
Not for nothing have Broken Witt Rebels recently claimed the Best Live Act gong at this years Unsigned Awards. This was a 40 minute support set that not only underlined their credentials and won them yet more fans amongst the sold crowd but also whetted the appetite for an album that is surely not too far away.
A lot for King King to live up to, perhaps, but you’d never have known. With the bekilted warrior that is Alan Nimmo charming and cajoling his audience, there is never any chance whatsoever of leaving The Live Rooms without having been anything but blown away.
Lose Control is the opener and from there all fears that the big man’s voice may be under pressure are immediately dispensed with. MoreThan I Can Take is absolutely ripped out, whereas Jealousy is delivered with such passion it is hard not to break out the light on your mobile and begin swaying like a 1990s lighter fiend. With Lindsay Coulson (bass), Wayne Proctor (drums) and Bob Fridzema (keyboards) beautifully underscoring the mood with each adding to the duck’s bum tightness the band have developed, this is by now truly special.
Yet King King are not just about the vocals. Nimmo’ guitar work – particularly the solo during Stranger To Love – and his overall charm ensure that this is one of the outstanding live occasions of the year.
With a crowd fully engaged from the off, two bands intent on playing their rocks off and some sublime musicianship on display, a disappointment this night most definitely was not!
King King with Special Guests, Broken Witt Rebels
Chester Live Rooms
November 26, 2016
PR RATING: ***** Regal and Rebellious