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The King Blues
Origin London, England
Genres Folk
Years active 2004–present
Labels Field Recordings
Island Records
Associated acts Suicide Bid
Ramraid The Offy
Sonic Boom Six
Random Hand
Itch Fox
Louis Bennett
Jim Parmley
Zebedee Jones
Former members
Robin Guy (Temporary Drummer for Reading & Leeds, 2006)
Chris Goodman (Bass on Under The Fog, Composer of Bass Line For 'Come Fi Di Youth'.)
Johnny Rich

The King Blues are an Acoustic-Ska band accredited for fusing ska and acoustic folk together with influences from Punk and Hardcore. They originate from London, England. Influences include Public Enemy, The Clash, The Specials and Minor Threat.



The King Blues started off as a two man ska outfit, consisting of Itch playing ukulele/Vocals and Jamie Jazz playing acoustic guitar and contributing vocals. Current Member Jamie Jazz used to work in a music/guitar shop called Rock Around The Clock up in north London in Crouch End/Muswell Hill, however Jamie realised that in order to put The King Blues at the top, he had to leave his job. Whilst this was going on they then expanded to include a second acoustic guitar and a bassist, before again expanding to include two full-time percussion members. Their sound was initially described as "soulful ska with raw folk and a punk rock attitude" [1] or "conscious rude boy ska"[2].

In 2004 they self released a demo EP entitled "All Fall Down" featuring 5 tracks recorded by Itch on guitar and vocals. The cover and CD body art was a stencil of a fuse bomb and the band's logo, each one was hand sprayed.

In June 2006 their debut album, Under the Fog, was released on Household Name Records which coincided with increased touring and gigs. In November of the same year, Mr Music Man was released as a CD single, also on Household Name. The single was enhanced with a video chronicling the band's attempt to play more gigs in a 24-hour period than Status Quo's record-breaking four gigs in one day. The King Blues managed seven[3]. Their single Mr Music Man was voted Best Punk Song of 2006 by Radio 1.

In 2007 the band was signed to Field Recordings, a label co-owned by Rollo Armstrong and backed by Island Records. Under the Fog was re-issued in March 2008, and was preceded by two singles, "Come Fi Di Youth" and a new version of "Mr. Music Man".[4]

In May 2008 the band released a single from their forthcoming second album Save the World. Get the Girl called "Let's Hang the Landlord" to all those signed up to their email list[5] . The song takes them in a slightly different direction, opening with a violin. The lyric is both autobiographical and true, detailing Itch's life as a teenage punk [6]. The track was also released on a split 7" single, alongside Mayday, the debut UK single by Flobots.

Their second album Save the World. Get the Girl was released on October 20, 2008 in the UK. The album was produced by Peter Miles, who produced Under the Fog, and Clive Langer (producer of Elvis Costello, Madness, Dexy's Mignight Runners, Morrissey, Teardrop Explodes, Bush and The Holloways).

My Boulder was released as a single on October 13, 2008 in the UK. Zane Lowe has played this track several times on BBC Radio 1 and recommended it on air to Noel Gallagher[7]. My Boulder includes an excerpt from a reading of the poem The Pied Piper Of Hamlyn by Robert Browning.

Another track from Save the World. Get the Girl to receive Radio 1 airplay is What If Punk Never Happened, which has been played by Rob da Bank [8], Mike Davies[9][10] and Zane Lowe[11]. Songs from the album, including "What if Punk Never Happened?" and "Let's Hang The Landlord" also received air play from the Xfm Punk Show (X Punk) hosted by Pete Donaldson and Phil Clifton.[1] The band have also received considerable airplay in Australia courtesy of Triple R's punk program Bullying the Jukebox.

The band's latest single "I Got Love" from their 2008 album Save the World. Get the Girl will be released on 4 May 2009. It was played at many gigs and tours before being announced as a single. Its first air time was on BBC Radio 1.

They also did a cover of Dizzee Rascal's "Bonkers" in Radio 1's Live Lounge in June 2009.

As of 2010, Johnny Rich, Fruitbag, Jim Parmley and Al Gunby are no longer members of the band, being replace by Louis Bennett and Zebedee Jones. [2]

In 2010, Winston and Rodney Jazz are expected to join the band on tour. [3]


The King Blues have "a commitment to politics and resistance"[12]. Itch, although he is a committed born again Christian, writes a column for Last Hours magazine which generally focuses on resistance politics and protest. Several songs on Under the Fog are overtly political, including "Chimp In A 3 Piece Suit" and "Duck and Cover". The band's website states that Save the World. Get the Girl will feature "a much more personalized take on social ills" than Under the Fog[12]. Nonetheless, overtly political lyrics do feature in two live favourites[13] that will appear on the new album. The title track includes the lyric "Going to war to prevent war is the most stupid thing I ever heard", while The Streets Are Ours includes references to Indymedia and Tiananmen Square. Smash EDO Dub, the B side to the re-release of Mr Music Man, features an interview with a campaigner from the Smash Edo movement[14]. The links on The King Blues' official website are almost exclusively political [15].

Band members




Year Album Label
2006 Under the Fog Household Name
2008 Under the Fog (Reissue) Field Recordings/Island
2008 Save the World. Get the Girl Field Recordings/Island


Year Title
2004 All Fall Down EP
2007 Taking Over EP
2008 The Engine Room Acoustic Session EP
2008 My Boulder EP
2009 I Got Love EP


Year Single Album Label
2006 "Mr. Music Man" Under the Fog Household Name
2007 "Come Fi Di Youth" Under the Fog Field/Island
2008 "Mr. Music Man" (Re-Issue) Under the Fog Field/Island
2008 "Let's Hang The Landlord"/"Mayday!!!" (split with Flobots) Save the World. Get the Girl Field/Island
2008 "My Boulder" #156 UK Save the World. Get the Girl Field/Island
2009 "Save The World, Get The Girl" #68 UK Save the World. Get the Girl Field/Island
2009 "I Got Love" #96 UK Save the World. Get the Girl Field/Island


External links


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