King King / Sari Schorr

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King King / Sari Schorr - Town Hall, Birmingham (UK) - 01 February 2019

New Yorker Sari Schorr is very softly-spoken and "floats around as if she's not quite there" (as Alan Nimmo observed later in the evening), but when she sings it's pretty damn impossible to ignore. As she launched into 'The New Revolution' from her latest album 'Never Say Never' it's apparent how much tougher her material comes over live, partly down to the talents of guitarist Ash Wilson, but mostly due to Schorr's stage presence. 'Damn The Reason' was the only foray back to her debut, but elsewhere 'King Of Rock 'n' Roll', her cover of Bad Company's 'Ready For Love', the heart-breaking ballad 'Never Say Never' and the classic Blues Rock of closer 'Maybe I'm Foolin'' testify, it's only a matter of time before Sari Schorr is headlining venues of this capacity.

The opening night of this tour was at Nottingham's Rock City, but the second show was at the considerably more prestigious Birmingham Town Hall. It was fully seated, but when arriving on stage to AC/DC's 'Highway To Hell' over the PA, Alan Nimmo swiftly encouraged everybody to get to their feet.

This King King tour was to partly celebrate their ten-year existence, but to also bid farewell to bassist Lindsay Coulson who will be moving onto pastures new. This meant the form book was thrown out of the window, as the band took the opportunity to delve deeper into their catalogue for some of their lesser known numbers, something made apparent when they opened up with 'Broken' from the most recent album 'Exile & Grace'. 'Heed The Warning' was another number aired during this show, with Alan Nimmo recalling it had only been performed live once before and he ended up having a coughing fit – no such problems tonight. 'Coming Home (Rest Your Eyes)' and 'Take A Look' also make their presence felt, which meant there was no room for some of the possibly more expected numbers like 'Long History Of Love', but nobody seemed to mind.



Then there are those that just couldn't be left out, for instance 'Rush Hour' and 'Waking Up', while regular closer 'Stranger To Love' appeared mid-set; when Nimmo launched into its elongated solo section it's obvious there's absolutely no hint of self-indulgence, it's just a pure love for his craft, and there are probably few who can do it better. '(She Don't) Gimme No Lovin'' followed and gave the set a punch of Rock – to be fair the majority of King King's Blues Rock songs have far more kick in the live setting. The spectacular sound quality in the Town Hall simply added to the enjoyment.

There were plenty of lovely moments, with Nimmo dedicating 'Take A Look' to their merchandise guy "who is braving the cold outside in the foyer" - following the reply of "No I'm not I'm in here", the singer quipped "if anybody's thinking of pinching some our stock now's probably a good time to do it", while preceding the sublime 'You Stopped The Rain' Nimmo requested that somebody in the front row filmed it for Facebook Live so his mum could watch it.

The main set ended with the quite beautiful 'Find Your Way Home', before the guys swiftly returned and introduced Birmingham vocalist Jackie Williams to add the soulful vocals to the title track from the debut album, 'Take My Hand'. The show then closed with the cover of Eric Clapton's 'Old Love', featuring another quite stunning guitar solo; one of my hates at concerts is when people in the audience talk while the band are performing, yet during the extraordinarily quiet section of this wonderful solo you could have heard a pin drop – now that's respect.

A show that was part celebration and part tribute, Nimmo making no secret that Lindsay Coulson will be missed, but they will go on – this King won't be abdicating anytime soon.

Ant Heeks

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