To Kill a King at The Workman’s Club – Review
Folk rock act TO KILL A KING from London pulled in a large crowd at The Workman’s Club last Saturday, a queue going out-the-door is always a sure sign of good things to come, setting particularly high expectations for the act, but would they deliver? Support act ‘The Wonder Villains’ from Derry were an excellent choice to open for To Kill A King. TWV were full of style and energy with key-tar, and are strikingly similar to ‘Ash’ in style of sounds only more modern and hypnotic.
Deriving their name from a film about the English Civil War, Ralph Pelleymounter on vocals took the night by the crown jewels, going straight in for the kill with the powerful ‘Family’. Pelleymounter has a voice that is soothing, yet commanding and he delivered each song like an anthem. ‘Howling’ and ‘Cold Skin’ were performed to perfection. Sound wise they are similar to ‘The National’ and ‘Fleet Foxes’, and the bands are an impressive set of musicians. The professionalism of Josh Platman (bass guitar), Ben Jackson (synthesizer and keys), Grant McNeill (electric guitar) and Joshua Taffel (drums) was a pleasure to experience, and their harmonies were pitch perfect. Time spent supporting a big bands like ‘Bastille’ has certainly served them all well.
The song ‘Wolves’ absolutely rocked the crowd out, while ‘Rays’ was unbelievably faultless, particularly the sounds coming from the rhythm guitar. ‘Cannibals with Cutlery’ drew the crowd closer to the stage and they all sang back to Pelleymounter. Pelleymounter vocal again needs to be mentioned, it is really similar to Matt Berninger from’ The National’, but the rest of the band sing with tremendous harmony with is very compelling. ‘Funeral’ had a very intense opening and the lyrics leave an indelible mark “Just a box of bones, lowered and marked with a stone, in the north at the mountains feet, in the north to find some peace”.
Citing Dylan Thomas and New York era Beat poetry as influences, this influence can be heard particularly in “Choices” the lyrics once more stood out ” When you fall, Fall like I knew you would, Lead me down down down, Lead me down.”, the crowd did their best to sing along with the band. The lead singer moved to the keys and keys player moved to guitar for ‘I Work Nights And You Work Days’ Pellymounter told us that that song is where they teach us all how to speak the queen’s English, apparently it didn’t go down well in Germany. The remark went ‘over most people’s heads’, and mine for that matter. The banded ended finally on ‘Fictional State’, with its fuzzy guitar, bass and drums left is feeling ‘blissed-out’ to their folk indie rock sounds.
To Kill a King nailed their performance at The Workman’s to an electric atmosphere with the crowd cheering and dancing to every song. Not to be ignored, TKAK are definitely going places in the near future.
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Review by Aine Byrne