Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings: Live Communication

Seventy-five-year-old former Stone continues to roll.

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The bassist previously known as Airman Bill Perks’s seniority grounded him in a pre-rock’n’roll jump blues era before the time of mere whippersnappers like Mick’n’Keef. That background has served him well not only in the Stones, but also in steering the ever-changing Rhythm Kings line up, essentially a superior covers band whose wide remit is rooted in greasy grooves and Wyman’s seamless walking-bass style.

He keeps a low but unmistakable profile on this 2008 live set, recorded in Dorking Halls with a resolutely effective and versatile outfit centred on guitar hotshot Albert Lee and keyboard/accordion ace Geraint Watkins.

Dr Hook vocalist Dennis Locorriere’s over-ripe delivery produces mixed results, although his clunkers (Randy Newman’s Louisiana 1927) are evened up by the uniformly excellent earthiness of co-lead vocalist Beverly Skeete.

Gavin Martin

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.