That distant ringing in the ears this morning can only mean one thing – last night I was at the Bierkeller in Bristol with, among others, a chess grandmaster and a member of the Welsh National Opera chorus to see King’s X.
I have lost count of the number of times I have seen them play live, but they visit these shores only rarely so I jump at the chance to relive the experience I first had all the way back in 1989 at the long defunct Marquee in London. The audience is older, fatter and balder than it was then (and that’s just me) but they still turn out after so many years.
Last here in 2009, if they leave it another eight years before they return Dug will be an astonishing 74 years old (yes, really) and the other two into their mid-sixties. I would not put it past them, but best to take these chances while you can.
Most heartening of all was to see and hear Jerry Gaskill at the back, drumming as ferociously and enthusiastically as ever. After nearly dying twice after massive heart attacks, he has clearly returned with a vengeance.
“Jerry’s alive!” shouted one member of the audience during a brief lull, and Dug replied “Yes he is!”, and before the band had even begun playing the chant of “Jer-ry, Jer-ry, Jer-ry” arose from the audience, leading Gaskill to rise and take a bow before a single note had been played in anger.
In addition to the phenomenal music, it has always been that sense of togetherness and community that I have loved about King’s X concerts, and if last night was the last time I shall see them then so be it. Every step of the journey has been worth it.