The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth

King King

Formed from the ashes of the Nimmo Brothers in 2008 by younger brother, guitarist/vocalist Alan Nimmo and bassist Lindsay Coulson, King King have gradually built a solid fan base through sheer hard graft and years on the road traversing the highways and byways of the UK and Europe. With the addition of Wayne Proctor on drums and a succession of keyboard players and guitarists, the band have released five albums, 2011’s “Take My Hand”, “Standing in the Shadows” from 2013, 2015’s “Reaching For The Light”, a live CD / DVD recorded at the Holmfirth Picture Dome and the O2 in Glasgow and their latest offering, “Exile and Grace”, which features their newest recruit, Jonny Dyke on keyboards. Regular guests on Paul Jones BBC Rhythm and Blues Show, stalwarts of numerous blues festivals throughout Europe and support slots with John Mayall, Thunder and Europe which have seen them grace the stages of some of the most prestigious venues in the UK, including the Shepherds Bush Empire, Wembley Arena and the Royal Albert Hall, the band are definitely on an upward trajectory. Tonight, they brought their tough blues/rock to the Old Fire Station as part of a ten-date UK tour.

Support tonight came from native New Yorker, Sari Schorr and her band The Engine Room which features guitarist Ash Wilson, bassist Mat Beable, drummer Roy Martin and on keyboards, Bob Fridzema (a former member of King King). Championed by the legendary blues producer Mike Vernon, Sari is two albums into a career that has seen her hobnobbing with the likes of Joe Louis Walker, Popa Chubby, Oli Brown and Walter Trout. Living up to the title of her debut release, “A Force of Nature”, the sassy blues belter stormed through a short set drawn from the aforementioned first album and her latest offering “Never Say Never”, but unfortunately, even though I arrived just after seven, due to the unusually early start time I missed possibly half of her set which was a pity, as she was already in full flight on my arrival and clearly had the growing crowd firmly on her side.

Sari Schorr
Sari Schorr

It is too easy to compare every female blues vocalist that comes along with Janis Joplin and in the case of Sari, her voice is definitely as powerful but is more refined, rich and controlled and her excellent band give her plenty of scope to express her emotions without sinking into the histrionics that blighted Joplinís performances. When she drew her set a close the audience was reluctant to let her go and gave her well-deserved ovation, definitely one to watch out for in the future.

Without leaving the crowd in any doubt of his roots, Glaswegian born Alan Nimmo strides onto the stage wearing his customary kilt to the sound of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” blasting out of the PA speakers. Right from the get-go the partisan crowd, many in King King tee shirts, loudly welcome the band in anticipation of a night of unbridled rhythm and booze and the band ably demonstrated they are not here to disappoint with the opening number “Broken”, a lament to a world in turmoil. With all the vocal problems he encountered back in 2017 firmly in the past, Nimmo ups the ante with “Lose Control” then “Rush Hour”, the first song of the night to test the willingness of the crowd to join in with a singalong, a test they passed with flying colours.

King King
King King 1

Although the faster songs were welcome, it was the slower ones that really hit home, “Coming Home (Rest Your Eyes)” was preceded by a dedication to the Scottish drummer Ted McKenna, a former member of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and Rory Gallagher Band, who passed away recently. A further dedication came before “You Stopped the Rain” for his brother, Stevie and mother who have both come through battles with cancer over the last couple of years, the emotion was there for all to see in the stunning solo. “Stranger to Love” was another highlight, becoming a tour de force for Nimmo to stretch out on his Les Paul, bringing the volume down to a mere whisper which was only slightly marred by a noisy minority at the bar who were told to “shut up” in no uncertain terms. “Find Your Way Home” brought the gig to an end, but instead of trudging off to the cold dressing room the band remained on stage and launched into an encore of “Take My Hand” and “Old Love” which was dedicated to bass player Lindsay Coulson who will be stepping down after twenty years of providing the bottom end to Nimmoís muse due to the increased pressure of work.

After the reception, the band received I’m sure they will be back in the future and I urge you to give them a chance, Iím sure you won’t be disappointed. But remember if they come back to the Fire Station on a weekend, make sure you get there early.

King King Setlist
Lose Control
Rush Hour
Heed the Warning
Coming Home (Rest Your Eyes)
Stranger to Love
Waking Up
(She Donít) Gimme No Loviní
Take a Look
You Drive Me Crazy
You Stopped the Rain
Find Your Way Home

Take My Hand
Old Love


Words & Pictures by John Cherry.