The King Blues at Leeds 2010
The King Blues are the kind of band that you feel deserve any success that they get. They brought their unrivalled brand of genuine, open and honest ska-flavoured folk-rock fusion to the main stage on Saturday with the utmost humility. But they would be one of the bands that you overhear so many people raving about to their friends as they moved around in the crowds later that day. They write about experiences that the people can relate to, for the people. So how could 'the people' not take to them?
They are a band with the unmistakeable 'likeability' factor, but can still retain the demeanour required to take command of a stage that size and the crowd it can attract. The anthemic 'Let's Hang The Landlord' was the perfect song to open with, warming people up and getting the most out of the feeling you get from the first few beers of the day. The reggae beat of 'Mr Music Man' felt like a song to try and coax the sunshine out, before the ballsiness and catchy singalong chorus of 'Headbutt', complete with fantastic attitude-laden scowl of vocalist Itch really got the crowd going.
'I Got Love' was the encapsulation of what a summer Bank Holiday weekend with your mates should be, the acoustic guitar and uplifting lyrics easing everyone into a great mood, even if the sun wasn't co-operating too reliably. It got everyone's arms in the air regardless. Being a band with a strong political manifesto behind their music, they did not overlook the opportunity handed to them to speak out for their beliefs on such a large soapbox. The public rally to reclaim the world from the fascists in the aggressive punky war-cry sentiment of 'The Streets Are Ours' was a gutsy performance that made you want to grab a whistle and a placard and follow The King Blues on a march into the sunset towards utopia.
Closing on crowd favourites 'My Boulder' and 'Save The World, Get The Girl', The King Blues looked like they enjoyed the set as much as their audience did. During the final song, Itch took a minute to extend a truly heartfelt thank you to all those that turned up; with such humility it sort of deserved an 'aww'.
A band with a lot of rhythm, a lot of bottle and a lot to say, it was no wonder The King Blues became such a talking point to so many.