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KING'S X, Electric Ballroom, Camden 12 April 2011
Kings X were
on the verge of becoming megastars back in 1988. The Texan trio came out
into the new age with a sound not heard before. Down-tuned guitars
mixed with the harmonies of the Beatles and this was two years before
Nirvana was giving us their own brand of Teen Spirit. Personally I
found their sound lying somewhere between Rush and Metallica.
magazine even put the band on the front cover before their debut 'Out Of
The Silent Planet' was released, later that year its writer's voted the
album number one of the year ,ahead of Queensryche's 'Operation
Mindcrime' and rightly so.
I was one of
the few who were immediately converted and was lucky enough to witness
their legendary debut UK show at the Marquee Club at the tail end of '88
and once more just some eight months later when the band were promoting
their second LP 'Gretchen Goes To Nebraska'.
Marquee show has gone down in folklore as one of those gigs where you
really had to have been there. It has always remained one of the best
club gigs I've ever witnessed.
reason or another Kings X never became household names, not pretty
enough for the glam metal fans and too clean for the oncoming grunge
scene, Kings X were just three nice guys who made great music, but that
doesn't equate into chart topping sales.
those Marquee shows Kings X have always had a love affair with London,
two years previously here at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, the band
filmed the live DVD 'Live Love London'.
Dug Pinnick (He recently buried his Christian name Doug so people can
dig his new name Dug.) simply introduced the band to the stage with a 'Helllooo
London' as the band launch into a welcoming 'Groove Machine'. Pinnick's
Mohican is long gone and has now been replaced by the wearing of a
sound is as solid and dense as it always has been. Pinnick and
drummer Jerry Gaskill play in unison providing a heavy backbone whilst
guitarist Ty Tabor stabilizes the mood with some fluid enlightenment.
are performed from the recent return to form album 'XV' including
'Alright' and the almost funky 'Pray', but their last few albums are
ignored and the most recent would be that set opener from 98's 'Tape
from the classic debut get an airing but not especially by any means the
best tunes from that release.
They do play
my favourite the ballad 'Goldilox' as an encore , but it's in stripped
down form as to let the faithful crowd sing every word throughout the
entire song, followed a rocking gospel feel of 'Over My Head' where the
Ballroom becomes a mass choir.
Kings X have
carved out a nice niche for themselves who have a loyal following for
which the band can do no wrong. One of the best kept secrets in
the history of heavy rock. A bit like Marmite, you either love 'em
or hate 'em and I love my Marmite. When spread thinly over melted
butter on toast, it provides a tasty crunch and that's exactly what I
after first seeing Kings X, the band are still making music that is
instantly recognizably and uniquely their own. Gladly, some music never
changes despite the ever changing fashion trends of the music world.
Long live the Kings X.
Set list: Groove Machine / The Train / What Is This / Complain / Black
Flag / Alright / In The New Age / Pillow / Pray / Dogman / Go Tell
Somebody / Summerland / We Were Born To Be Loved.... encores ....Goldilox
/ Over My Head / Visions