10

Lifting the fog.

Originality can be a good thing or indeed a bad thing. On the one hand you have to be impressed with a band that wants to play something a little bit different, however you also find yourself asking why has this not been done before? The King Blues could be best described as folk/punk with a reggae edge. Each song sounds live and you can picture everyone drinking and having a good time.

The intro starts off with a news item expressing the horrors of war in its various forms around the world finishing with Ireland, and I'm thinking that this is going to be a cross between Flogging Molly and The Briggs. However as 'Blood On My Hands' kicks in I feel like I'm thrust into the streets of urban London which has a definite reggae feel whilst singing about the British government. 'Mr Musicman' is straight up reggae, whilst album title 'Under The Fog' is straight up folk-punk like Defiance, Ohio with a hint of Billy Bragg. The reggae vocals have been replaced with a cockney accent and the short ska riffs are now a strumming acoustic guitar with hand claps and whistling.

'Come Fi Di Youth' sounds just like Farse, whilst 'Taking Over' with its ukulele strumming and slow beat could be sing in a small beach bar whilst I'm wearing nut-huggers and drinking Pina Colada's. 'If I Had a Coin' quite frankly had me sat with my mouth so wide open I was in danger of swallowing pigeons. The song is a cappella in a cross between The Flying Pickets and a 50's slow diner love song with lots of sugary sweet harmonies.

We are told to listen up 'When there's a scarf over my face// and my hoody's up' on the angry, albeit, gentle tune of 'The Sound Of Revolt' before the last song 'Getting Out Of Here' has such a jolly quick piano background sound that you can't help but jiggle along to! There's more political finger pointing at the feelings of 'Thatcher's kids and Blair's teenagers'. If nothing else it gets you moving.

The hidden song of their acoustic live rendition of 'Lollypop' is worth the CD price itself! Enough said.

Is it reggae? Is it folk/punk? Who knows, but it's thought provoking, original and creatively fresh on ideas. Apparently Mr Mike Skinner of The Streets fame is a big fan, and with some of the poetic lyrics we really shouldn't be surprised. I wonder whether they need to decide whether they are to concentrate on reggae or folk both work, but I'm not sure how well they work together. The music is original and well thought out, and as previously mentioned the lyrics aren't just throwaway rhyming.

The King Blues has enough talent to make a real impact on the music industry, but are we ready for them?