King King review: You could hear a pin drop, so enthralled is the audience with this superb performance
- Credit: Laurence Harvey
It's blues-rock at its finest as King King brought their headline tour to Norwich last night [February 10] with support from Sari Schorr.
Sari Schorr tells us more than once how honoured she is to be touring with King King, but it's likely that the feeling is mutual and it shouldn't be long before the New Yorker is headlining shows such as this rather than playing second fiddle.
So softly spoken between songs, Schorr's singing switches effortlessly from soaring powerhouse vocals to being mesmerisingly gentle, and she dominates the stage like a natural. Shut your eyes, and her husky delivery transports you to a smoky Chicago blues club back in the day.
There's a great rendition of Mott the Hoople's Ready For Love, and the slower numbers – including the title track from latest album Never Say Never, which was recorded in Norfolk – hold their own.
But it's in the more upbeat numbers that she really excels, with opener The New Revolution, at the start of the evening, and Maybe I'm Fooling and the brilliant Valentina, at the end, proving to be the best of a fine bunch. Even a concrete statue would find it hard not to foot-tap to this.
It means King King have a hard act to follow but, boy, do they deliver. From the opening notes of Broken, there's not a dud moment during this electric set from the kilted Alan Nimmo and friends.
Lose Control has one of those extremely basic but extremely catchy riffs that can you keep grooving all night. Rush Hour, meanwhile, is the first time we get to properly enjoy Jonny Dyke. He's been lost a bit in the mix during the first couple of numbers but his atmospheric keyboards now start to shine through.
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Heed the Warning channels Stevie Wonder's funk, while Stranger to Love has one of several Nimmo guitar solos that are worth the price of admission alone, before the whole band, driven by Wayne Proctor on drums, crescendos towards the song's climax.
Crazy is so funky that it stinks from the groove. The catchy You Stopped the Rain is almost the definition of an earworm, and Find Your Way Home is a great closer to the main set.
There's a sad tinge to tonight's proceedings, though, as it's one of the last King King shows with bassist Lindsay Coulson, who founded the band in Lincoln with Nimmo more than a decade ago. He's decided to call it a day at the end of this tour.
With this coming weekend's Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow shows his last before he amicably departs for family reasons 'and other personal endeavours', tonight is the end of an era for many fans.
He's given the rousing send-off he deserves after some nice words from Nimmo during the encore, before the evening is brought to a close with a cover of Clapton's Old Love. Once again, Nimmo's solo is spellbinding as he takes his guitar down to virtually nothing. You could hear a pin drop, so enthralled is the audience with this superb performance.
It's only early February but if there are any better shows in Norwich this year, count me in.