A brave title for an EP if ever there was one but that’s what Kiziah And The Kings have titled their brand new 4 track EP. (It’s technically 5 tracks but that includes a radio edit of opening track Kings And Queens).
Kiziah And The Kings seem to have been on the local scene forever but given that Kiziah is still only 25 that can’t be the case. Still, with two Doncaster Live performances under their belts and a recent support slot with Kitty, Daisy And Lewis they are still major players on the local scene.
There have been a few line up changes along the way but now with Richard Cook (guitar & keyboard), Fin Haddrell (drums) and most notably Wrieff Muldoon (bass) in the mix with siblings Kiziah & Dane Watson they’ve really found their sound.
The opening of Kings And Queens highlights this better than anything. It’s pure funk. Wrieff’s bass pumping as Kiziah’s vocal swirls all around it. The pounding drums and Dane’s staccato guitar come in and your feet are on the move. I challenge you to listen to it and stand stock still. (The whole EP is worth the £5 asking fee just for Dane’s guitar work as the song builds to it’s crescendo).
Ain’t No Breaking Me is a dub/reggae gem. I was transported back to a very lost weekend in Notting Hill 27 years ago. Again the new rhythm section showing why they’re such valuable editions to the band.
Title track Heard It All Before is next up. My favourite on the EP. We’re funking out again. This could have been released in the summer of ’77, not to say it doesn’t sound fresh. With Cooky in there it gives Dane free reign to show how he’s matured as a guitarist over the last 6 years. It’s a soulful belter of a song. I’ve had it on repeat for about a week now.
Fourth track is a reworking of old favourite Baby Don’t Go, the first Kiziah song I ever heard. I’ll be honest on my first listen to this new version I wasn’t keen. I loved the raw emptiness of the original but this fleshed out version is definitely a grower. More faithful to the original than I first thought but with a fuller sound. (I still miss the slightly too long break in the middle though).
It’s a very polished EP, which given it was produced by Steve Ellis at Orion Studios was always going to be the case. Only four songs but the best set of songs I’ve heard the band put together. More of the same please.
The EP launch takes place at The Leopard on Friday March 18th with support from We Are Statues, The Introspects and Bang Bang Romeo’s Anastasia Walker. On the basis of the EP it promises to be something very special.
I won’t say ‘see you at the front’. I’m too old for that malarkey. I’ll be getting my funk on at the back of the room somewhere.