Live. King 810

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Live. King 810
O2 Academy Islington. 26th September 2014

The muffled cries of Oasis echo around Islington’s O2 Academy, providing a stark contrast to the hooded figures and baseball bats that stand guard at the entrance.

Tonight is King 810’s first headline show in the capital and it’s one that drifts on a cloud of expectation. The blend of curiosity and excitement is cut with a hint of fear as the stories behind the Michigan four-piece arrived long before the music grasped a handle. The armed men at the door aren’t smiling pantomime villains and their invasion of your personal space is very real. Looks are exchanged, and people are already on edge. The police tape that crosses the stage does little to dispel this discomfort and it’s a niggle that underlines every moment of the show.

From the bloodcurdling howl of ‘Killem All’ until the stuttering cries of ‘Fat Around The Heart’, King 810 attack the stage with vigor and faith. The show hangs on their blood and brotherhood and despite questionable theatrics, they retain the sense of brutal reality that’s become their calling card. Their source material is something the relative privilege of the audience will never understand but, just like Eminem all those years ago, their stories of oppression and victimization strike a chord. Their music is heavy yet surprisingly nimble, wrapping itself around the visceral vocals before leaping out on its own. The vocals themselves are often indecipherable but delivered with such fervent belief, you don’t need to hear the words to know what’s being elocuted. That said, spoken word soliloquies and heartfelt crucifixions don’t carry the same weight when you’re searching for a reason to care.

It’s here the earlier unease comes back to haunt King 810. Keeping the audience at arms length only exaggerates the distance between artist and observer and most are content watching this struggle.  Style ebbs around substance and the band still aren’t sure where they belong; now they’ve escaped America’s ‘Murder Capital’.

Dressed to kill, literally, and promoting an album called ‘Memoirs of a Murderer’, there was every expectation that King 810 would kill it tonight, but they’re not there yet.

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~ by justdip on 30/09/2014.

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