Friday, February 17, 2017

Taking the Low Road - King King in the Netherlands, Part 3

Dateline: 12 February 2017   Venue: Luxor Live, Arnhem

To be honest, I don’t know what visitors might find interesting about Amersfoort, other than that it’s the birthplace of the modern artist Piet Mondrian, and so home to the Mondriaanhuis museum.  But for whatever reason the sizeable dining room of this business-type hotel on the outskirts of town is heaving for Sunday breakfast.
Suitably fed and watered, it’s off to Arnhem for Sunday’s gig, which involved a replacement bus service part of the way because of engineering works.  It’s all very efficiently done
Let's hope that t-shirt was washed from the night before!
though, and we get dropped off at Arnhem railway station, just across the road from our hotel, the Best Western Haarhuis.  It’s pretty basic, but on the upside it’s handily placed for the town centre, and barely a hundred metres from tonight’s venue.
The snow has stopped, but it’s still brass monkey weather as we set off for a wander round the town centre, and in particular Airborne Plein, the small pedestrian space close to the John Frost Bridge which commemorates the Battle of Arnhem during the Second World War.  If you’ve ever seen the movie A Bridge Too Far, this is the bridge of the title.  Sadly the Airborne Museum is outside town – perhaps another time.
After catching the France v Scotland rugby in an Irish pub – Scotland lost, unfortunately, but the Chouffe beer compensated – there’s just time for a cracking steak in Vlees & Co before heading along the road for the gig.
The show is in the smaller of the two rooms in Luxor Live, a compact ballroom with high ceilings and a good stage, and even though it’s sold out the sight lines are excellent.  Sean

Gonna get funky!
Webster and pals open the bill with another impressive set, getting under way with ‘Give Me The Truth’, featuring a strong solo from Webster, and as on previous nights including a convincing reading of ‘Thrill Is Gone’.  ‘Give Me Time’ is well constructed and soulful, and they close with a slinky take on ‘I Don’t Want To Talk About It’, with guest PennyLeen Krebbers duetting with Webster as she does on the forthcoming album version, helping to turn it into a steamy torch song.  Look out for a review of the album Leave Your Heart At The Door very shortly.
King King come onstage, and there’s an immediate reaction to ‘Lose Control’, signaling that once again this is no casual audience – they’re ready to rumble.  The band are on it from start to finish tonight, but ‘Rush Hour’ in particular catches the ear, right from it’s delicate guitar intro, and as it rolls forward Wayne Proctor and Lindsay Coulson dig out incredibly deep foundations.
By now it just needs the intro to ‘Long History Of Love’ to kill me, and remarkably Alan Nimmo manages to back it up with an even more incendiary guitar solo than the previous night.  It’s the same with ‘You Stopped The Rain’, which provokes dancing, singing, and
Sean Webster and PennyLeen Krebbers get slinky
immersion in its emotion – and again Nimmo nails the last of these with his guitar solo.
As a matter of personal preference I might replace ‘Take A Look’ with ‘What Am I Supposed To Do’ or ‘Taken What's Mine' but apparently it’s Mick the merchandise man’s favourite, and it has to be said that the rising scales at the end are gripping.
Are tonight’s crowd the best behaved ever during the quiet passage in ‘Stranger To Love’?  They must be contenders.  But by now it’s the way Alan Nimmo and Bob Fridzema climb back out of that segment that grabs me, as a preface to the storming solo that brings the song to a close.

It’s the end of the road in the Netherlands for both us and King King.  If the weather was cold the hospitality was warm, and the shows were a blast.  Now, new album coming soon is there?

You can find Part 1 of Taking the Low Road here.
And you can find Part 2 here!

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