Adelaide, South Australia. 16th March 2018
Multi-award winning band Kings and Associates, performed the second of two 2018 fringe events organised by the Adelaide Roots and Blues Association (ARBA) http://www.adelaiderootsandblues.org/ during the last week of the Adelaide fringe shows for this year. Ably supported by duo Nick Kipridis and Snooks La Vie performing as Nikko and Snooks. Who opened the night with their own brand of blues. Nikko Vocals/Acoustic guitar and Snooks Vocals/Harmonica.
Both these performers have been around long enough to have well and truly paid their dues in the music biz but are relatively new as a duo. They performed an old time, no frills, sometimes soulful sometimes gritty style of blues, with covers of songs from immortal artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson and Little Walter that left the audience wanting much more.
This sell-out gig was held in a studio/rehearsal space of Global Music Revolution, Klemzig. Making the gig quite an intimate one. A bar/coffee facility and a merch table were also fitted into the small space but everything seemed to work really well, with Pistol Pete’s Memphis BBQ taking up residence outside the roller door. The only downside for me as a photographer, was a lack of light to centre stage leaving the main vocal performer in darkness while the two extremes of the stage had lighting.
The headline act Kings and Associates took the stage from 9 pm. Angie Portalesi – Lead Vocals/Tamborine; Stephen Portalesi – Bass; Kelvin Sugars – Drums; Matt Williams – Guitar and Greg Jones on keyboard standing in for Vocalist/Guitarist Benjamin Cunningham. These musicians are each well respected within the industry and together they combine to create something which is truly special.
After enormous success with their 2014 debut album ‘Red Dress’.* The band followed up with their second album ‘Tales Of A Rich Girl’ with all songs penned by the highly successful songwriting duo, Angie and Steve Portalesi, with Kelvin Sugars and Matt Williams also contributing on ‘Peace x Peace’
* A point worth a mention here is that a portion of the profits from the sale of ‘Red Dress’ will be donated to help fight child slave labour in the clothing industry.
Opening their set with a cover of a Blind Boys of Alabama song ‘Way down in the hole’, they went on to treat the audience to most of the numbers from the ‘Tales of a Rich Girl’ album, interrupted only by the beautifully performed Sly Stone version of ‘Que Sera’.
The quality of the material matched with the exceptional talent on display was spellbinding. It’s easy to see why this band has received so many awards, among which are their recent Chain Awards for Best Group of the year, Best New Talent and Best Producer for Jim Scott for the album ‘Tales of a Rich Girl’.
From the poignant ‘Truth be told’ which was inspired by the loss of a dear friend, to the harder edges of ‘Evergreen’ and ‘Deadwood’ and onto my personal favourite of ‘Nitty Gritty’. Angie Portalesi’s voice soared high, floated gently, drifted melodically and caressed the crowd with sultry tones reminiscent of greats such as Etta James and Big Mama Thornton, through to contemporary artists such as Danielle Nicole, Joss Stone and the best bits of Amy Winehouse. And yet… the style is all Angie Portalesi, and what style.
Add the silky smooth guitar solos by Matt Williams alternated with the unique and effortless keyboard solos of Greg Jones and underpin all this by the solid rhythm laid down by bassist Stephen Portalesi and drummer Kelvin Sugars and you have a night to remember for a long time.
Very rarely does one get to experience great talent at such an early stage of their career. I was privileged to witness such an event on this night.
Calling Nikko and Snooks back to share the stage to end the night, was a move the audience very much approved of.
The easy interaction between the band members and with the audience throughout the night was endearing. They were happy to mix and mingle with everyone after their set showing just how down to earth and approachable these guys are. True talent and all class. Kings and Associates are appearing around Australia. Check their website http://kingsandassociatesmusic.com/ and also https://www.reverbnation.com/kingsandassociatesmusic/shows for details.