Concert Reviews

King's X / Kings Of Spade Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 30, 2017    
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King's X / Kings Of Spade - O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) - 14 June 2017

Based in Hawaii, Kings of Spade blew everyone away! I was not surprised having caught them as openers for the Cathouse 30th Birthday celebrations in Hollywood. While Vocalist Kasi Nunes looked straight out of late seventies Carnaby Street with her perfect pink Mohican, she is backed by guitarists channeling the American South and a drummer who looked down with LA. Their music was a sophisticated palette of Blues Rock illustrated beautifully by Nunes' amazing voice which at times recalled Aretha Franklin, Patsy Cline, Lynne Jackaman and Alison Moyet and, basically, all those moments when a female voice was so good it gave you goose-bumps. While she looked like she could knock your teeth out, instead she blew your socks off and was capable of summoning both the soft voice of an angel and the most heart wrenching, Blues-soaked screams you will hear.

Kings X Live 1

Fortunately, Kings X easily rose to the challenge posed by their opener and they had an ace up their sleeve, the most devoted audience I have seen since David Coverdale's faithful at the Hammersmith Odeon. The set list covered their whole career from late eighties to the present day and the audience of diehards were familiar with it all, so much so that at times Doug Pinnick barely needed to sing a note! The beautiful, rich and warm Baritone choir standard sound that came from the audience proved this was an audience of sophisticated, largely male aficionados. Pinnick was clearly overcome at the reaction after an absence of about ten years from the UK and after a reticent entry stage left was soon at centre front as he reached for his audience with eye contact and smiles. King's X have not lost any of their cutting-edge cool as proved by their offering of great monolithic Blues riffs with a slower groove and a funky bass line that was combined with Southern Rock and Jimi Hendrix-influenced shredding and faster and faster crescendo endings without any loss of the soul of the music.

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Pinnick has also lost none of the Gospel style passion for his vocals and craft. He developed a question and answer style rapport with the crowd, not once did he actually have to ask them to sing or give them instructions. Spontaneous stuff still happened like the moment Pinnick sang "Music, music, I hear music" and the crowd answered as loud as the band with "music over my head" as if they had microphones. Pinnick spared the time to disapprove of killing in the name of God, stating "no one has the right to take someone's life in the name of what they believe in" and encouraging everyone to watch each other's backs before he launched back into the track and the crowd didn't miss a beat. London doesn't very often react like this, but when it does it's like a collective consciousness, earth moving, kind of a thing. By the time we got to 'Goldilox', Pinnick gave up singing and the band provided the musical accompaniment for the crowd as star turn.

Kings X Live 2

The synergy between King's X and the crowd was amazing tonight. Pinnick commented that he better make it back quicker than ten years next time, and exhorted the crowd "don't take no bullshit from nobody" which as a triple negative got the message across and he was off. He seemed visibly moved by the reaction tonight as well he might. A triumph for a band that seemed quite unaware how much they are loved. Like prodigal sons, they really could do no wrong in the eyes of the crowd tonight.

Dawn Osborne

Kings X Live 3

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