Monday, 9 March 2009

Shrine Post: The King Blues

Let's start with a rewind: 1998 (how old was everyone then?). Portsmouth Pyramids centre. It I was my first concert: Bush supported by Flyscreen (God knows who they were.) I can remember it like it was yesterday, I was feeling ill, I had been off school that day but for some reason my parents let me go to the concert anyway. I went with Chris Gore (now two kids, flat in Basingstoke, last spoke to 1 year ago), Chrissie Ingleson (apparent ex-herion addict, last spoke to 8 years ago) and Ian Fergusson (engaged, last spoke to last week). I can't remember which songs they played, but I remember the aura, the emotion and the atmosphere of being in a smokey, sweaty room. More than anything it was magic, it was special more than anything. To know me is to know how I feel about music. It is not just entertainment or time passing to me, it is the most important thing in the world (discounting friends and family), it has the ability to change moods, shift ideals and shape lives. To be at my first concert was truely spiritual.

Since then I have been to so many concert. I have been to hippy rock fests in Cleveland, Ohio, rap gigs in the Czech Republic in the pouring rain, outdoor ska knees-ups in kid playground, Reading festival 9 times... the list continues. I have seen some of the greatest performers ever, hung out with punk legends on tour buses, hung out with a band because I was one of 5 people to turn up to a sold out gig because the advertising posters were mis-dated. Throughout all of this I have not become jaded yet by the moment, the excitement of a coming gig. Last week was not an exception, I was about to see 3 of the best bands around, one I had seen once before I really knew them, one I had not seen but loved on cd and another that are truely one of the most important bands I have discovered. It was "stoked" as they say. Then, on Wednesday night I recieved an email to say that the third band (Anti-Flag) had pulled out of the gig because they had injured themselves. I was gutted, it was truely shaping up to the be one of the best shows ever, now this great band were being replaced by a band called The King Blues.

I needed to know who these cats were so I logged onto Spotify (seriously, check this site out) and listened to some of their music. They were good, actually on cd they were very good. I hoped that it wasn't going to be as bad as I had thought....

Fast forward. Friday night, Camdem town, the Roundhouse (what a venue.) The lights dimmed at 7.30pm and onto the stage came The King Blues.....

From the first note I was blown away. They were how every band should sound. A mixture of reaggae and true punk, they were a proper reflection of the best things in British music from the last 40 years. The lead singer took the stage with such force and power that it was impossible not to watch his every move. In many ways he reminded me of Mike Skinner from the Streets crossed with a Durecell bunny. Half singing, half rapping he told his stories of growing up in London and discovering what the world was like. As a band they had everything, music that was fast, bouncy and in ya face; musicians that played so fast that it was hard to keep up. It was obvious that from the start the audience expected them to prove who they were, within two songs we were all sold. More than anything they had an urgency to thier motives that made them so relevant. When they dedicated a song to the anti-fascist, anti-BNP movement I knew I had truly discovered my new favourite band. If I could have been born at any other time in history it would be so that I could have gone and seen The Clash (as if often said, the only band that really matter), The King Blues were so much like The Clash that it hurt. Joe Strummer would have been skanking in his grave if he could have heard Camdem town jump that night.

The rest of the bill was equally special, but knowing that I had made acquaintance with a new band was the greatest feeling ever. It was like I was 15 again.

This is my Shrine Post because is anyone can make a 26 year old feel like this over music still, there is hope for the world.


magnoliaMAM said...

Thanks for your review mate. Much appreciated.
Please go to
and hit the sign up button and we'll keep you in touch with gigs and releases and such like.

There's a MySpace page too

best wishes

Dave Wibberley (The King Blues - manager)

Robert Black Eyes said...

Got listening to this band as soon as you showed me that song 'Get the girl save the world' and lurved it!

Living ledgend.

Rachel said...

Will try and listen to their music sometime, sounds worth checking out.

Ps. Chris - 2 kids?!

Skin_and_Bones said...

They are amazing i hear them a while ago. A band that i really like is Alkaline trio
give them a listen they are to good to put into words when you see them live. Or they were to me.
have fun dougie
this is phil