Our first single. Contains an acoustic cover of "Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Video directed by Jack King.

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Mar 19 2014
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North American Tour week 1

Our first week of our seven in North America has been a frantic affair but we’ve many stories to tell. Now that South By South West is over and done with I felt the first blog was due.

 We began at Heathrow on Sunday 7th March, where after mummifying our guitars and a few cases with baggage wrapping, we ate a fried breakfast whose price to size/quality graph featured a strong negative correlation. The waitress almost threw a tantrum at our request to split the bill, something we have yet to encounter over here, where the service is sublime and the tipping reflects this.

Taffel demonstrates the travelling stoner look, with mummified bag to the left.

Taffel unwrapped his birthday presents with an unusual ferocity. 

The flights themselves were relatively painless, despite their length. The excitement felt by all kept us in high spirits, despite essentially travelling back in time. I had a mild seizure upon our arrival after discovering that the airline had put my bag on the flight after the one we actually flew on. Once I’d recovered we had soon arrived in our hotel in Nashville. After so long confined in tin cans 30,000 feet up in the air it was great to be able to spread all four limbs as far as possible on a master bed. Taffel and I then ordered a burger that instantly became the best we’d ever had (this has happened thrice since). I managed to have an accident with a freakishly high-pressured ketchup sachet that exploded into my face, hair and onto the mirror behind me. This gave me the appearance of a gunshot victim before I’d even had the chance to irritate any American into drawing a weapon.

Ketchup: Heinz, face: model’s own.

After a dab down we headed into town to a bar called Soulshine that upon entry smelled like a cheese factory. The music that had drawn us took the form of a blues jam night and the standard was ferociously high. Every fifth male in Nashville looked like ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill in a trucker hat and all were steeped in the blues. After a couple of hours we fell into bed and attempted to cheat the jet lag.

Picture drawn by me in the van. 

The next day we picked up the mighty vessel we will call home until 1st May. With its plush leather seats and onboard wifi, this is a van like none we’ve driven before and we’re pretty pleased with it. The fact that we were still saying that after a 14 hour journey down to Austin is testament to its charms.

On Tuesday we ventured into town for our first taste of SXSW. After a remarkably smooth accreditation process we were in need of sustenance. Several of our party had heard that the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was a decent eatery and a branch was was conveniently located just over the road. Unfortunately, IHOP was a major let down. Luckily the food since has been a blur of supreme medium rare beef and all things Mexican, which we’re now very well acquainted with after meeting some East LA Latino homeboys who gave us a detailed description of all their native food stuffs. They also promised us that they’d have our backs if we ever came to hang with them in their part of town. Having since discovered that their hood is about as safe Compton or Watts, we’ll be passing them up on their gracious offer.

American cuisine at its finest.

SXSW was a mass of humanity, with people trekking from far and wide to converge for the near-constant noises being emitted by the city. With the US music industry generally split between New York and LA (save the country hub of Nashville), Austin, Texas was a warm and welcoming middle ground where close to a thousand acts peddled their wares to any available ears. Brass bands, lone drummers and magicians lined the streets, and that was before you’d even got inside one of the myriad venues. We played a couple of sterling full shows as well as acoustic sessions, and almost featured in a Hip Hop video. No really. At an acoustic gig in a house just outside the heart of town we were peeping through the garden fence at an entire rap crew who were the absolute real deal, miming out a yard scene for their latest release. After enthusiastically inviting us to be involved they made their way over the road but unfortunately our packed schedule was against us and we just missed out on becoming the awkward-looking extras that the rest of the guests became. We did manage to complete another teen dream a few days later though, where at the same locale we played fully amped up in the front room of a house party, complete with the mythical red cups that we’ve all grown up seeing in the movies. 

Our amps, on loan from Orange, back up the local phrase that ‘everything’s bigger in Texas’ (thanks Orange!).

Taxis were hard to come by at SXSW. One night a trio of our troupe were out raving hard till late and had no option but to hitch a lift. With everyone being so much friendlier in the USA than in London, this wasn’t a problem. Here’s a transcript of what followed:

Ben (sheepishly): Can we pay you chaps $30 for a lift back to our hotel please sir?

Cody the driver (straight-faced): No problem man, but if you pull a knife on me I will shoot you.

As it turned out, Cody and his buddy Emerson were two of the coolest guys we could have hoped to meet, both self-titled ‘roughnecks’ who made a killing working on the Texan oil fields, and as such didn’t accept our money. They were also armed to the teeth, their pick up truck like an NRA convention on wheels. They came to our gig the next day and took Taffel out for several whiskeys, which resulted in him acquiring a small tattoo of the state of Texas on his upper back, which was classy.

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you Josh ‘Texas’ Taffel.

Our first week here can’t be accounted for without our accommodation getting a Trip Advisor-style mention. Austin Suites was the kind of place you would never book if you had any sort of a budget. The rooms were generally fine, although their whites wash could’ve done with around 100% extra bleach. A more pressing concern was the clientele. One man we met was a hardcore nicotine addict, asking us all nightly for a hallowed cigarette. It wasn’t until we were about to leave that we found out his name was Kevin but went by the alias of Igadda Bigadda. He claimed he’d been abducted by aliens, tried to give us drugs (‘I wanna help y’all party but don’t drive on these’) and carried a spray bottle around with him filled with chemicals that he’d aim at the eyes of any potential assailant before they could land their sucker punch. This is the type of person who hung around the gloomy, bloodstained landings of the Austin Suites hotel. As much as we’d enjoyed Austin there was definitely a part of us all that couldn’t wait to leave.

Our friend Kevin, also drawn by me in the van, who looks a lot less like Bob Dylan in reality.

We’re now heading north and if you’re an American or Canadian who fancies watching us, here’s where you can still do it:

I’ll speak to y’all soon.

^JP


Mar 16 2014
71 notes

Mar 02 2014
25 notes

Feb 17 2014
19 notes

Euro Tour blog over on Nothing but Hope and Passion

Hello everyone.

The dust has settled and I’ve written the traditional post-tour memoir, except this time a German blog called Nothing but Hope and Passion have hosted it, which seems fitting for a European tour.  

This picture contains the link to it and just about sums up how triumphant the whole thing was:

Have a read if you fancy, I know they’d love a few more hits and they’re a good bunch.

Thanks to all who made it worth the mileage, you made the our tour the opposite of silage. 

See you all soon.

^JP


Jan 31 2014
16 notes

Save the date - TKAK with Neil Young & the National

As we’ve been dashing around Europe on our tour we’ve been offered the chance to support the legend Neil Young in London’s Hyde Park this summer, alongside some other heroes of ours in the shape of the National. We’re thrilled about this and would love to see you there, so click the picture to snap up tour tickets.

Or if you’d like to propagate the link to the whole web, here it is -

http://www.axs.com/uk/events/246269/neil-young-crazy-horse-tickets/promopage/341?skin=bst&aff=AEGLIVEUK_KILLAKING_HYDEPARK_KILLAKING_31012014

More news when we’re back on home soil. 

Bye for now.

^JP


Dec 19 2013
68 notes

USA

We are pleased to announced that we’re doing this next year and we can’t wait!


Oct 25 2013
47 notes

Photo

For our Nottingham show on Halloween we’ll be all dressed up.

Here are some of our previous efforts as a taster of what to expect.

We’d love you to join us so here’s a ticket link:

http://www.seetickets.com/venue/rescue-rooms-nottingham/1951

See you there!

For our Nottingham show on Halloween we’ll be all dressed up.

Here are some of our previous efforts as a taster of what to expect.

We’d love you to join us so here’s a ticket link:

http://www.seetickets.com/venue/rescue-rooms-nottingham/1951

See you there!


Oct 14 2013
36 notes

WE’RE COMING TO EUROPE

To our continental cousins on the European mainland,

Yes, you read that correctly - we are coming to Europe! I’m not talking about the upcoming dates in November with a certain Bastille here, oh no.

In January 2014 we are setting off on our very first European headline tour which we are hugely excited about. Here’s where we’re heading plus some handy ticket links ->

January

Sat 25 Denmark, Copenhagen, Beta: http://bit.ly/19xP2EY
Sun 26 Germany, Berlin, Bi Nuu: http://bit.ly/16GohQ8
Tue 28 Germany, Hamburg, Prinzenbar: http://bit.ly/1637nwT
Wed 29 Germany, Cologne, Blue Shell: http://bit.ly/19Ifdqr
Thu 30 Holland, Amsterdam, Paradiso (small hall): http://bit.ly/1cLLRi3
Fri 31 Germany, Wiesbaden, Schlachthof: http://bit.ly/GW2tqj

February

Mon 3 Germany, Munich, Orangehouse: http://bit.ly/GW2tqj
Wed 5 Belgium, Brussels, AB: http://bit.ly/1aC0Zd8

We cannot wait to see you all there so get your tickets now.

Adios amigos x
^JP


Sep 26 2013
18 notes

Switzerland and other scraps

Hello everyone.

A couple of weeks ago we set off on our first Swiss tour. We had a truly marvellous time despite the strict 93 decibel noise limit (even in stadiums apparently), Swiss-only plug sockets, two police-led van searches (blame it on the beards) and said van having an oil leak like the bladder of an ageing relative. We were treated like C-list celebrities everywhere we went, with cheese, free bars and rapturous crowds greeting us in all four cities we graced. We performed on TV for the first time alongside 8 feet tall (big heels) DJ Tanja La Croix, were asked interesting questions on Swiss radio channels and played our first gigs with our new members Grant McNeill and Josh Taffel, the last a sell-out in a venue so warm that intervals are encouraged for health and safety reasons.

Before I begin with a few choice photos, allow me to regale you with an interesting fact about Switzerland from a man named Jean-Luc. Despite being one the world’s 10 wealthiest nations, it has the third-highest suicide rate, behind only Japan and Norway. The societal pressure can be summed up in one of Hip Hop’s deepest truisms; mo’ money mo’ problems.

On with the slide show:

Despite the previous night’s whiskey intake, our sound man Joel was not still drunk. These pink eggs are real.

Some eager swans joined us for a riverside beer in Zurich.

Surname Cameron I hope…

Note: toilet humour is less/un-funny when translated.

This means jewellery but was close enough to the Yiddish for penis to continue our juvenile humour.

To Kill A King - oh yeah!

The good times roll in Nyon’s hippest club, owned by their 2012 Man of the Year whose bar we’d just played in.

Rihanna’s favourite bar in Basel, allegedly.

The smoking policy was fairly stringent.

These were the highest tables we’ve ever been interviewed at, making for an intense discourse.

Our final gig, a sell-out for our debut in Basel’s most musical sauna.

Joel dressed in an Um-Bongo carton can after a radical new haircut.

The whole gang with our brilliant promoters and hosts Dom and Dom (in TKAK shirts). They provided food, shelter, breakdown cover and hooked us up with all the gigs and press commitments we could have asked for. They are legends - Prost to you two!

The new two sleep off the effects of the final night.

We’ll be back soon to build on these solid foundations…

* * *

Here are some more visual delights for you.

The first is a session filmed at Bestival for Off Guard Gigs, the youtube music channel of Right Guard antiperspirant. This features Ralph in a hat, Ben in a turban and a solid trio performance of Cold Skin. We smelled great too.

The next sees the triumphant return of Ralph’s Balcony for a second series. This time out our great leader collaborates with willing accomplices on a brand new track written just seconds before filming. The first of these features spoken word maestro, frontman of Benin City and the compere of our Play All The Things night, the simply irrepressible Joshua Idehen. Enjoy, and keep an eye out for more in the future…

Finally, it’s time for the now-obligatory TKAK UK tour poster and ticket link, so you should all know what to do by now -

click the picture to confirm your attendance via online payment.

It’ll be well worth it I promise you.

Thanks guys, see you on the road!

^JP


Sep 16 2013
63 notes

This is how the summer ends

We have something very important to tell you.

It is half with a heavy heart that we announce that Ian and Jon have decided to move on with new projects outside of To Kill A King.

They’ve been integral to the band for so long and we will miss them dearly but we hope you will wish them the best, as we will, with their future endeavours.

In the wake of their decisions we searched high and low for suitable replacements and they have arrived in the shape of Grant McNeill on guitar and Josh Taffel on drums. They are first-rate musicians and fantastic people and we are incredibly excited to be moving forward with the two of them on board. Please welcome them as we look to the future.

… And here, thanks to Wolf James Photography, we present the first shot of us all together…

See you all on the road!

 

^JP


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