King Mob took on the O2 Academy in Islington for a ground shaking rock performance featuring Stephen W Parsons, aka “Snips” as front man vocalist, Martin Chambers on drums, Toshi Ogowa as bassist and Chris Spedding, Glen Matlock and “Sixteen” shredding outstanding rock blues on guitars. I had the privilege of interviewing Stephen W Parsons after the bands’ sound check as he had plenty to say on King Mob’s current status, “My personal view point is, I’d rather hit the younger demographic.” Parsons was confident to talk about how he thought the younger fans perceived the music from the King Mob, “My mission is to take this kind of music to the younger audience, because I know they like it.” He continued to discuss how he perceived the modern day music. “I have to be honest, I hate all that music, It just sounds like nothing to me.” “It’s tragic, it’s absolutely tragic in my opinion.”
It’s a fair point to take into consideration since Parsons has been involved in composing music for films for 30 years, being apart of the technological takeover of compressed music and over processing. “In the end, the last few years that I made film and TV music, I ended up just making it with a bunch of people, you know like King Mob, just recording live. I got so fed up with overdubbing and processing. It’s a soulless process and I just don’t think it achieves anything.”
As the evening approached and the O2 Academy filled up, the band approached on stage with a welcoming cheer across the venue creating an atmosphere of rock appreciating fans. Parsons is last to come on, casually walking up to the microphone with the lighting from the stage reflecting off his sunglasses into the crowd. “We’re King Mob, we know who you are so lets just get on with it,” Parsons says, before the band is set on cue to rock out. The venue consisted of an admiral balance of youngsters and 70s/80s veterans still in love with the music. The band played songs from their debut album, Force 9, including the terrific single, “Va Vah Voom,” that received a massive response from the crowd as Parsons announced “Here’s the one from the video where we all look a bit weird.” The band also played some new songs from their upcoming album that they are currently working on, as well as one of the tracks they have put on their website for free download, “All Sexed Up,” a cool swing based melody that gave an upbeat vibe to the show. At one point in the show, Parsons relieved himself from the spotlight and handed it over to Glen Matlock to take the roll as front man vocalist and guitarist. As Matlock took charge of feeding the crowd rock generated blues, Parsons prepared himself to come back and continue the show with a special guest, none other than legendary Wilko Johnson, former guitarist from the outstanding pub rock band “Dr Feel Good.” His reputation was immediately recognized as he still maintains the image of rapidly strumming his guitar while marching back and forth towards the front of the stage. Other guests included Mick Ralphs and Phil Manzanera to add on to a fantastic show. The band included the last track from the album, “King Mob,” which was brilliantly received as Parsons proudly chanted out their name over and over again across the room, having the crowd chant it back, “King Mob! King Mob!”
If you were walking past the O2 Academy on the 28th March 2012, you would hear the bass frequencies squeeze itself through the gaps of the doors, giving a clear impression that the venue had something exciting going on. I was fortunate enough to be inside those doors, experiencing a band that were reviving a genre of music that has been hanging onto a small thread in a generation that has seemed to have forgotten what a rock show was all about. When we were discussing modern music Parsons mentioned “It’s made by people looking at screens in air-conditioned rooms with everybody chatting in a very low key kind of a way and to me it’s just impossible for me to create excitement like that.” Everyone at the gig can agree that Parsons knew how to create excitement, as even though his eyes were hidden behind his cool looking shades, he managed to send off the impression that he was making eye contact with every single person at the gig, involving everyone to love the music they do and share a mutual appreciation of how a show should be performed; with honesty. When I asked how younger artists could take inspiration from the band he replied, “It seemed like you could do anything at that point, nowadays to the younger player it seems like everything’s been done.” I believe it’s because the members of King Mob were the ones to do it.
By George Podaras