King Brothers at The Fulford Arms – Review and Photoset

Starting the show were Bones Shake, a scuzzed and fuzzed hardcore blues band from Manchester with themes rooted in the sixties whilst being dragged into the present kicking and screaming. Having just completed a mini tour of Northern France they’re riding high, filled with confidence their set slick, hard and full of energy.

With possessed frontman David J Brennan’s hips wiggling, his long legs shake and his feet stomp in his black winkle pickers. They have reached a level now where playing is second nature and the performance is truly coming through – you can’t not be infected by a band like this who enjoys playing to their audience so much. Bones Shake – they get better and better, whether you like your blues hard and crazed, or if you just like good, original music.

Second up were Black Mekon from Birmingham who gave us another dimension to the night’s entertainment. Wearing black masks like Cato from the American TV show The Green Hornet they create a modern twist on fifties rock and roll. They are explosive, crashing through their short tracks several of which were from last years album One in the Hate. Performing Janey Was a Klepto and Natural Disaster, their music leans against classic rock and roll rhythms and beats, taking them to a darker place and setting the scene for the main event.

The room was filling everyone eager to see what the King Brothers had to offer, with the band being living legends on an underground level – a treat for York! The small smoke machine on stage exhaled and the band emerged from the stairs leading upstairs to jump onto the stage and blow our minds and ear drums. From the start the music was hard, loud, fast and aggressive, the drums crash to chaotic beats as the guitars cry out and the singers sing and scream and thump and dance and give us a show that goes from zero to hero in a split second. The King Brothers don’t do slow songs so there’s nothing to give you a moment to catch your breath because they are simply an explosion in motion, and all you can do is face the power and let it wash it over you.

The pleasure they get from performing their crazy rock n’ roll is infectious and obvious, nd the crowd shook their heads to the drum beat as the performance came alive in front of them. This gradually became one of those special nights and it doesn’t matter that they don’t speak English, that their songs are sung in Japanese, or that the fact that they can’t stay on the stage for more than five minutes. Before we knew it they had announced their last song and with it came a crazy finale as they dragged the drum kit off the tiny stage and played their last song on the bar floor whilst crowd surfing. King Brothers are crazy, fun, exciting, energetic and totally mental oriental, and they are a must see for everyone who like their rock music crazy and fast.

Big thanks too for The Fulford Arms, for without small venues how could we see the alternative bands, the new up and coming groups that would never make it without playing to smaller audiences.

Review and photos by Martin Frank.