The Regal Kings: Dancefloor Diamonds Vol. 1 – album review
The Regal Kings – Dancefloor Diamonds Vol.1 (Self Release)
The Regal Kings describe themselves as ‘A mighty mix of cool Ska,Soul and Skinhead reggae’ and have recently released their debut album. Adrian Bloxham has been listening to it for us, find out what he thinks below.
It’s like a breath of fresh air, a boot print on the chart rundown, it’s the sound of people making music that they love for people that love their music and having a huge amount of fun while doing it. The Regal Kings Dancefloor Diamonds Vol. 1 was recorded in Paris, Bradford and various locations in the North. They are a cosmopolitan, European borderless musical revelation. You put the album on and you start nodding your head, by half way through the first track, if you have an ounce of rhythm in your body, you will be dancing around the room.
They say that they are a mighty mix of ska, soul and skinhead reggae. That sums it up pretty damn well. The beats are more gentle than the full on attack of two tone of old, it has more in common with the old stars of the musical field. It’s a layered sound with trumpets and trombones layered over saxophones and strings. The drum beat is simple and uncluttered, just enough to push the sound forward and make your feet move. Most of the songs are built around either a gentle ska beat or a soul groove, the exception being ‘The Golden Bough’ which they seem to have swiped from Shane MacGowan’s pockets, it’s a drunken Irish reel.
The sound is rich and upbeat, the guitars complement the bass which builds on the drums and the other sounds weave in and out making the music complete and full. But the secret weapon here, the thing that lifts this away from the crowd is Charlie’s voice. It’s rich and emotional, just a pinch of grit to keep it interesting. The voice of someone not looking beyond the music, the perfect vocal for these songs.
If you ever loved the sound of a hi hat and guitar, if you ever thrilled to the great soul voices and if you ever danced the Skinhead Moonstomp you will love this. A welcome addition to the sounds of 2013.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. More work by Adrian on Louder Than War can be found here.