The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton, an amazing little venue down a side street in Wolverhampton. Almost Tardis like from the appearance outside. A small glass doorway on the street expands into the rather large bar area, then through another door and you're into the dark, intimate yet magnificent concert hall. One of my favourite venues to catch a band in and tonight legends King's X have rolled into town.
The show is sold out and the queue to get in loops round the corner and up the street early doors. Opening act Kings of Spade, running behind for their allocated time, take to the cosy stage a cool fifteen minutes late. Front woman Kasi, with her 6 inch high red mow-hawk and bare feet takes centre stage, a little reluctantly it would seem. Having never heard them before, first impressions tell me we are about to be hit with a wedge of aggressive punk, but those impressions could not be further from the truth.
Blues driven guitars and a funk filled bass kick us off before the crowd are stunned by Kasi's vocals, think Stevie
Nicks vocal range and you're not far off. The self made band, signed to no record label, put on a show fueled by dirty blues and deep soul mixed with traditional hard rock. A heady mix that works exquisitely for 45 minutes of self written music with a cover or two thrown in for good measure. The Animal's House of the Rising Sun showcases Kasi's vocals whilst their own songs introduced the guitar stylings of Jesse Savio with some string bending solos that would make any household name guitarist jealous.
Stage cleared and new rigs set up, its now time for the main event. King's X have had a long and varied career, touring arena's opening for acts including Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Scorpions, Pearl Jam and Mötley Crüe. Always the bridesmaids and never the bride it would seem, well tonight they get to shine in their own right on this European headline tour. Okay the Slade Rooms is not quite the size of the arena's they've opened in previously, but seeing your favourite band in a sold out intimate venue like this is what every fan dreams of.
Entering the stage it's drummer Jerry Gaskill that gets the biggest welcome, the 500 strong crowd chanting "Jerry... Jerry..." as he takes up his stool. Getting off to a raucous start, they open with Groove Machine, from 1998's album Tapehead, "Welcome to... the groove machine" probably the most fitting start to a concert I've ever been to. Chorus sung purely by the crowd, as if front man dUG Pinnick knew exactly how the audience would react. World gives Ty Tabor the first of many chances to shine, with a masterful solo and Pillow, that tribal pounding song has the crowds fists in the air pumping along with the song.
The funk laden tunes fill the room with a joyful, soulful air of enjoyment, the crowd bouncing along as the band real through a set spanning their full thirty year career. Looking for Love keeps the hot, sweaty room singing at the top of their voices. Pinnick reveling in the limelight, grin covering his face, swinging his bass around the stage in youthful vigor. Rounding out a fantastic set with Dogman and Golidlox brings to an end fantastic night of hard rock infused with funk and lashings of blues riddled soul. King's X may not be the youngest band on the circuit these days, but they are still certainly one of the most entertaining.