Over the past couple of weeks, HMV have put on shows all around London as part of the anual HMV Next Big Thing festival. Tonight at the Relentless Garage in London is political punks The King Blues turn. Accompanying them are punk’s Sharks and Scotland’s own Twin Atlantic.
Sharks kick things off with their take on punk. Sharks sound like a modern day punk act but with heavy influence from early bands, such as Sex Pistols and The Clash. They’re a breath of fresh air on today’s punk scene and for them, the Next Big Thing Festival is perfect. They could well be punk’s next big thing and they do that tonight by showcasing some of their songs to the slowly growing Garage audience.
Some people could easily slate Twin Atlantic for this bill. Being put in between two punk bands when you’re band are not punk at all can’t be easy, but somehow they pull it off. Having supported My Chemical Romance last year too, they’ve picked up a few fans in their time together. A few of these fans have turned up at the Garage and sing every word whilst giving the band a warm reception. It’s not an easy task being sliced between two punk acts, but they’ve done well and end in style with a fantastic You’re Turning Into John Wayne.
The King Blues haven’t played a show since last year’s Reading and Leeds Festival and so tonight gives them the chance to showcase some new songs from their upcoming album Punk & Poetry. Hitting the stage playing a brand new intro for the crowd before diving in to their abrasive new track, We Are Fucking Angry. The song hasn’t been out long but the crowd are in full swing, singing every word. The King Blues may have been put down a lot in the past year and had a tough year too, but they’re back and better than ever.
The new material goes down well and at times even better than the older material. After an excellent rendition of Let’s Hang The Landlord (which gets the crowd off their feet singing and dancing, skanking from side to side), the band play their latest single Set The World On Fire. Having only been released a few days prior to the gig, it’s astonishing to see that everyone has learnt the lyrics already, or at least the chorus. As everyone chants the chorus from front to back, frontman Itch looks happier than ever. The smile never seems to leave his face and tonight him and guitarist Jamie Jazz look like brothers in arms – engaging in smiles and sharing hugs the whole night. Itch even dives in to the crowd and laps up every minute, with Jamie recalling that Itch hasn’t stage dived like that since he was 18 – a clear sign that The King Blues are enjoying their time as musicians more than ever now.
New tracks I Want You, Sex Education and The Future’s Not What It Used To Be show The King Blues at their best. Ska love songs and politically charged punk songs. These songs are easily going to be fan staples and favourites before they know it. The usual poem where Itch sings “Granddad didn’t vote for fascists, he shot them down..” is the intro for My Boulder, another staple song. One of the loudest singalongs of the night comes from Headbutt, the chorus sounds great and the song on a whole sounds even better live than it ever has. In fact, The King Blues sound even better live than they have for quite a while now.
I Got Love brings the night to a close, before Itch returns to the stage for an encore of Five Bottles of Shampoo – a poem which he has done for a few years now but is getting it’s studio release on the upcoming album. The powerful words of the anti-sexist poem allows all the women to scream and stand up for what they believe in. The rest of the band join Itch onstage to close with the single that plunged them in to the mainstream, Save The World, Get The Girl. Itch thanks everyone for coming and he means that, it’s in his eyes. Letting everyone know that it’s the fans who kept them going, the night comes to a close. The King Blues are officially back and better than ever and are now ready to unleash a monster of a new album.
We Are Fucking Angry
Let’s Hang The Landlord
Set The World on Fire
Mr Music Man
I Want You
The Streets Are Ours
The Future’s Not What It Used To Be
I Got Love
Five Bottles of Shampoo
Save The World, Get The Girl
Punk & Poetry is released on 18th April 2011.
The King Blues will be touring the UK throughout March and April. Support comes from Sonic Boom Six and Random Hand. Tickets are available from SeeTickets right here! A few shows have sold out already so be quick and get tickets NOW!
The King Blues new single Set The World On Fire is available to download on iTunes right here!