WARNING: Fan alert, my love for The King Blues knows no bounds, so please beware copious amounts of gushing ahead.
I first heard them in 2011, ‘What If Punk Never Happened’ was played to me and I knew that I was going to have a long and beautiful relationship with whoever had made this record. Nothing has changed, the flame of love still burns ever so brightly.
Monday evening turns out to be the best time to go to a gig and wander around Brighton, you could even forget it was a Monday after an award-winning (we gave it the award of best kebab ever) kebab and some cold Brighton air (Brighton is always bloody freezing). We walked into The Haunt and before we had walked in the door I exclaimed “that’s him!” as I heard the familiar voice and we realised they had already started, I held back the disappointment and rushed in to make sure I didn’t miss another second, I even held a wee in for the whole gig – that’s an hour and a half of not weeing when needing to.
There they were. Dressed like mods, kind of, preppy with Brylcreemed hair and envious shoes. Oh how I love thee.
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Itch is the front man of the band, the singer and the songwriter, he holds his raging heart up there exposed on stage and you fall safely into his arms as you watch him, he isn’t going to make a single mistake or sing a single note you won’t like, or say a thing you won’t agree with. He’ll make you not want to write this article because “how can you call yourself a writer in his presence?”
I first saw them at Glastonbury and as I watched teenagers pour cider into their eyes from excitement I wanted to say, “stop it, listen, it’s important.” Because Itch isn’t just a singer, he isn’t just the aesthetic front man of a cool band, he’s a raconteur, he’s a revolutionary, he’s a poet, and he’s always got my vote, in any election.
A girl can dream.
His weapon is poetry and love, he has so much love “love in my heart and this feeling I can’t let it go.” VOTE FOR ITCH. How he manages to do this I don’t know, he writes “I will save the world, I will get the girl,” next to “We are fighting back and we are fucking angry,” and you love him for it, the ability to be the coolest dude on the planet whilst also being the soppiest makes him feel like a superman.
This love often mutates into fury and I bloody love watching him be furious, there is no one else I know who can scream tunefully and keep you with him every step of the way. As he cuts into the issues of the day you know he has got this, and if need be you can turn to him and find out what he thinks, he will always make you feel better. Unless you’re David Cameron, he won’t make David Cameron feel better, “But I ain’t a pig, don’t try fucking me.” Ouch.
The best bit about The King Blues might be that they really love what they do, the joy emanates from them as they perform and you really believe they mean it when they thank you for your support. If they started to do it for money and fame then we wouldn’t have been in such a small venue, so small you felt like he was singing to you personally, we wouldn’t have been treated to such a long set, he might not have brought his CD player on stage and I might have not met him at the end when he was selling t-shirts.
He rushed from the stage to the merchandise stand, sold stuff, took selfies and shook hands with his adoring public. I didn’t manage to get many words out (see introductory warning) but I did stare at him a lot and he did sign my denim jacket. My fitbit told me my heart rate had increased. I was scared to meet him, don’t meet your heroes and all that, but he was sweet and smiled and looked right at me when he spoke and I floated home in my newly signed jacket (see picture), I hadn’t felt like this since the Jon Bon Jovi concert in 1995.
Best gig ever.
Anyway, ITCH for Prime Minister, President, King and Queen.
“Is this ska or punk?” (best thing we overheard at gig whilst least punk song and most ska-like song in world was being played). Oh the youth.
Words by Maxine White