The King Blues – The Roundhouse, Camden

By Tom Aylott

The King Blues (by Jack Ford)

The King Blues have come a mighty long way since their residency at the Purple Turtle right at the other end of Camden, and tonight signals their biggest headline show to date.

German band BROILERS may share their name with a type of chicken raised specifically for meat production, but their rockabilly-ska mixture opens the night with quite a nice surprise, and feels far from factory farmed.

Cerebral BallzyNew York skate-punkers CEREBRAL BALLZY, despite gaining rave reviews time and time again, didn’t particularly live up to the praise tonight. Lead singer Honor Titus, with eyes rolling in all directions, is fairly responsible for this just above average performance, and comes off sounding like he’s taken their song ‘Drug Myself Dumb’ as a bit of a mantra.

THE KING BLUES, with a message buoyed perhaps by the UK’s current political climate, take to the stage with a focused sense of meaning and responsibility tonight. Opening the night with powerful spoken word bit ‘What If Punk Never Happened?’ before a full band rendition of ‘Let’s Hang The Landlord’ to kick things off proper, the sense that tonight is going to be monumental is already in the air.

Cerebral BallzyAfter a swipe at a particular newspaper (two guesses – it’s not a News International shit rag) ‘Set The World On Fire’ kicks the doors in – taking digs at the government and the woes of modern Britain is something The King Blues are more than qualified in, but they also write some pretty awesome love songs, which come in the form of ‘I Want You’, ‘Underneath This Lamppost Light’ and ‘Headbutt’. As well as all the much loved classics, new song ‘Power To The People’ shows that the band have no plans to let up any time soon.

Kicking off the encore with arguably their most moving and powerful track, spoken word ‘5 Bottles Of Shampoo’ deals with the subject of domestic abuse and deserves the rapturous applause it receives. As The King Blues bring things to a close, they do it in the only way that seems suitable – a mass stage invasion to the much loved ‘Save The World, Get The Girl’ – a perfect end to an evening showing what live music, and The King Blues are all about.


To see photos from the gig, head to our photos section