Set The World On Fire: Looking back at The King Blues: Punk & Poetry.


Punk and outspoken dissent have gone hand in hand since the days of The Sex Pistols, rabble-rousing odes to upsetting the established order, of pointing a finger at social injustice have been a staple of the genre since its inception but few modern bands in the scene have done so with such style and as richly constructed & worded as The King Blues.

Formed in London in 2004 The King Blues cut a niche for themselves penning catchy, socially motivated punk songs with their own distinctive style, the bravado of hip-hop mixed with the attitude of Punk, regularly mixing disparate styles together to form their tracks, it would not be out of place to find a dub breakdown or Uke lead ska riff on a King Blues track. Their debut album Under The Fog surfaced in 2006 earning them a bevy of new fans and critical praise closely followed by the incredible Save The World, Get The Girl in 2008 which gained them even more ground and cemented their position as one of the most hard working bands on the scene. Its follow up came in 2011 and was named Punk & Poetry.

The title for the third album was quite apt, spoken word poetry punctuates the album on multiple occasions fitting nicely alongside the tracks. A fan favourite from the previous year made it on to the album in the shape of Headbutt and the albums first single proper We Are F**king Angry was released on the albums announcement in January of that year. Heartfelt love songs and vicious indictments of inequality sat side by side on a record that ran from the biting social commentary of Set The World On Fire one minute to the awesome ode to women 3 Bottles Of Shampoo the next. There is a dichotomy that runs through Punk & Poetry and through much of their work, hard & soft, harsh & tender, for every angry punk song a soppy or decidedly affecting song may be just round the corner and it works wonderfully.

Punk & Poetry may stand as The King Blues most polished & accomplished album. The ground work was set beautifully with Under The Fog and Save The World, Get The Girl, it was perfected, focused and expertly refined with Punk & Poetry. It is as relevant today if not more so than on its initial release, in a post Brexit world of increased prejudice, social injustice and the rise of the alt-right, this is the album to put on your turntable, crank the volume and deliver an audible F.U.

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