Right now, King King are a band breaking into a swagger. Theres no denying the momentum of the Glasgow rockers saluted as the best blues-rock band in the world (Blues Rock Review). But for Alan Nimmo (vocals/guitar), Lindsay Coulson (bass), Wayne Proctor (drums) and Jonny Dyke (organ/piano), its far from mission accomplished. Were not stopping to smell the roses, says Alan. We want to take this band as far as we can.
If the year ahead werent 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 tracklisting that bristled with sharply observed lyrics and blues-rock firepower. Theres an underlying theme on the new album, explains Alan. Some of the main songs are about the state of the world, yknow, this beautiful blue planet thats turning into a battlefield. Theres an edgier, rockier feel this time around, but youve got the soulful ballads as well. Its still King King. Its just what were 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 Rocks 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 Kings 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), theyre wasting no time, hitting the New Year running with a five-date UK tour that kicks off at Londons Shepherds Bush Empire, then rolling on to major cities across Europe (We just need to believe in that old adage from Waynes World if you build it, they will come, says Alan of the auspicious venues in the diary. Weve 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.
Its the sort of itinerary that working rock bands dream of. But then, theres been no shortage of pinch-yourself moments for King King, ever since the bands touchdown at the 2010 Monaghan Blues Festival and the following years British Blues Award-winning debut album, Take My Hand (declared tremendous by Maverick). In 2013, Standing In The Shadows underlined the collectives sharpening songcraft, while 2015s Reaching For The Light infiltrated Classic Rocks Best Album poll and secured a nomination for Best New Band at the magazines coveted Roll Of Honour. By May 2016, they were even ready to deliver their long-demanded live album, with King King Live placing above The Rolling Stones in the Amazon Blues Chart. With each album, each year and every time we write songs, says Alan, were always striving to get better.
No backslaps. No laps of honour. No smelling the roses. Propelled by the acclaim of Exile & Grace and their extraordinary chemistry, King King are ready to swagger into 2018, and raise the stakes as their story unfolds. This is the next chapter in King Kings journey, says Alan, and we want to take this band as far as we can