The King Blues @ Birmingham Academy 2, 30th March 2011


The King Blues should have played at last Saturday’s ‘March For The Alternative’, the Trade Union protest against government public sector cuts. They would have gone down a storm in Hyde Park.

This lot are one of the few modern bands that have a political message, in songs such as ‘Shooting Fascists’ and ‘The Streets Are Ours’. They are in a way the descendants of The Specials, The Gang of Four and many other eighties bands that did have something to say politically. On the cover of their last album ‘Save the World, Get The Girl’ they look a fair bit like the ‘anarchists’ from UK Uncut that stormed Fortnum and Masons. But they also have great tunes and rock like fuck.


They kick off with the track ‘Last of the Dreamers’ from their new album ‘Punk and Poetry’ and mix the set with new tracks like the single ‘Set the world on Fire’ and older tunes. On top of the political tracks they also have some that deal with the ‘normal’ pop stuff of love and loss, such as ‘Underneath this Lamppost Light’ which twists the old ‘you look beautiful tonight’ refrain and places it under lamppost light complete with the smell of piss.


Its no secret that The King Blues have had some troubles recently what with the departure of several members and being dropped by their label last year, but they seem energised and on great form tonight and the new material seems to go down even better than the old. The mix of kids and parents, punks and kerrang kids are skanking from the start. ‘I Got Love’ ends the main set and frontman Itch comes back to deliver the live staple, poetry piece ‘5 Bottles of Shampoo’. It’s anti sexist words gives the chance for all the women to get up and shout. They end with ‘Save the world, Get the Girl’, one of their best tracks that gets a sing along all the way through. Its good to see a band with a message doing more than just playing guitars.

Review – Adam Moffatt
Photos – Shaz R

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