14. The King Blues - Save the World, Get the Girl
Again, this album wasn't exactly new to me last year, but it was certainly a regular player on the iPod. This is the first record I encountered from the acoustic ska-punk outfit, and it took hold of me from the off. I remember racking up over 500 plays within the first week of having it.
One thing I couldn't, and still really can't get over, is how small a following The King Blues seem to have. When I was first getting into this album, there was only one other person I knew who'd even heard of them, never mind liked them. I had trouble for a while trying to find someone to come with me to see them live at Wrexham's Central Station, a small venue with a couple hundred capacity or so. I'm SO glad I managed to find a gig buddy though, it was a gig I'm very glad I didn't miss, what with another LP to add to the collection and a signed set-list!
This outing was more than enough encouragement to book in another trip to see them in Manchester's Academy 2 in April (yesterday, as I'm writing this). I must say, I'm looking forward to this year's release of Punk and Poetry after some of the previews from these two gigs.
The lyrical powers that Jonny 'Itch' Fox brings forward through The King Blues are often highly politically and resistance related, and at other times take form as deep, meaningful love songs. This political side is shown without question in 'What If Punk Never Happened', the final track on this album, and 'Underneath this Lamppost Light' and 'Out of Luck' proving his love song writing skills. Overall one hell of a listen whether it be the first or thousandth time through.