King Herd album release show The Water Rats, Kings Cross, London

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Monday 25th September 2023

King Herd? Never heard of them? No? You will and very soon because this quartet are going places, fast! This has all happened very quickly for me having had their debut album dropped into my inbox only last week then I found that the band were doing not one but two album launch shows, this one in London and a hometown show in Birmingham on 27th September. If you can get there, I urge you to because these guys absolutely slay it live.

Helping out with the evening’s entertainment are Brighton-based rockers Bad Luck Friday. I spoke with muscular singer Will Wilde after their set and asked him to describe their sound. He struggled and I struggled – suffice to say they bring a big noise that’s blues-based but not strictly blues. They gave us a superb set of huge-sounding riffage with Will adding some classy ‘gob-iron’ too. Guitarist Steve Brook kept it simple but can also shred and has great fun pulling all sorts of shapes – this bloke must do yoga or something because he bends in all sorts of ways.

They knocked out tracks from the debut record with highlights being the opener ‘Jealous Woman’, ‘Take The Best Of Me’, the mighty ‘Rebel With A Cause’, the soulful ‘Dust And Bones’ and a killer song that I didn’t get the name for which had a wonderful drum fill to start from the perpetually smiling Alan Taylor. These guys deliver hard, punchy rock n roll with a bit of blues and soul. Catch them wherever you can – you won’t be disappointed.

King Herd are four unassuming fellas who you wouldn’t really look twice at. They took to the stage and became four totally different personalities. It’s as if they grew a couple of inches and added a stone of muscle as they cranked straight into ‘Halo’ and I asked myself where the hell have these guys been? Speaking with the golden-throated Dave Taylor (not Gary! Sorry mate) before the show he explained that they have all been around the block with other bands playing all sorts of different music, but they all have a love of heavy rock and grunge.

Taylor knocked it out of the park tonight and you can add his name to the ever-growing list of superb classic rock singers. They continued on ‘The Same’ before they brought some Chilli Peppers funk but if they had Tony Iommi on guitar with ‘Another War’. That got people moving as did ‘Closer To The End’ where drummer Karl Brazil was in his element. We got the mighty ‘Medicine’ before a new track not on the record but destined for album no.2 the raucous ‘Please Me’ a blistering punky anthem that blew the roof off.

King Herd play heavy rock and Taylor has a voice with a fabulous range which also holds a whole lotta soul like all of the best rock singers this was displayed on the soon-to-be classic ‘Like It Used To Be’ where the Man with the Gift of the riff, guitarist Tom Longworth, showed his class and he and bass player Ray Loverock provided some stirring harmony vocals. ‘Remedy’ rocked the place and ‘Save Me’ (I think) was arena-sized before the soulful epic of ‘Only One’ showed another side of the band. It was back to the biting heavy rock on ‘Somebody Else’ to close the show. After being cajoled into returning to the stage the band stated that they didn’t have any more songs so they rattled out a punky grunge cover that I just cannot name. King Herd can be added to the list of great new UK bands. I for one am seriously excited to see what the future holds for these bands in the next couple of years. They all just need plenty of support. Buy the album because it’s awesome. See the band because what you hear on the record will be what you hear live – awesome!


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