First up tonight was Laurence Jones, a very young (21 years old) blues guitarist. I saw him support Joanne Shaw Taylor at her album launch last year and was impressed by his short acoustic set. Tonight was a ful eletric set and he was accompanied by his producer, Roger Inniss on bass and a drummer. Watching them it’s strange hearing such great blues coming from such a young clean-cut guy, but he really does sound great, and is clearly having a great time – he and Roger regularly leave their separate sides of the stage to play inches apart in the centre. As well as some songs from his new album, we’re treated to covers of songs by Leadbelly and Jimi Hendrix. He ranges from soft beautiful blues to a dirtier sound, and right through to more of a blues-rock sound.
When I saw him with Joanne Shaw Taylor I said I wanted to hear more from him, and tonight’s longer set certainly didn’t disappoint. A great start to the night from an artist that is well worth listening out for.
King King are another act I first saw play live when they supported Joanne Shaw Taylor (a couple of years ago). They’ve won the “best band” award at the British Blues Awards for the last three years so you know they’re a great blues-rock band. The fact they’ve sold out several of the dates on the current tour bears witness to that. Tonight they’ve managed to draw a large crowd and the venue is busy with a crowd that would probably fill the London venue they played the previous night.
They waste little time once they take to the stage and get straight on with putting in a great set. Tonight they’ve chosen to include some songs from their forthcoming album (due out in May, but on sale at the merchandise stand on this tour) as well as songs from their first two albums.
Kilt-wearing frontman Alan Nimmo handles guitar and vocal duties and his enthusiasm shows clearly, while Lindsay Coulson strikes a more relaxed pose on bass. Both Wayne Proctor on drums, and Bob Fridzema on keyboards add backing vocals.
This was one of those performances where there’s simply nothing to criticise and nothing I’d like to have seen done differently – King King simply put in a flawless blues rock performance that went down a storm with the crowd. If you get the chance to see them then do it – they’re a great live band and you won’t regret going to see them. My only regret of the night was not having been to a cash machine earlier and as a result, having to leave the venue without buying a copy of the new album.