Editor: We’ve featured the work of King Size Slim (Toby Barelli) in the pages, both print and web based, of The Stinger, and for a very good reason too.
Toby is a regular feature on the local gig scene, and a man who always puts his all into a performance, as anyone who has seen him will testify.
He once did a live radio session for me, and realising that he didn’t have access to a ‘stomping board’ or a wooden floor to stamp his foot on during his performance, decided to use his guitar case instead. By the end of the third song that guitar case was on the verge of disintegration, due to Toby’s passionate playing!
If you fancy seeing some of that for yourself, although we can’t guarantee the destruction of a guitar case, King Size Slim with his band The Levy are playing a ‘proper' album release gig at The Albion in Hastings on Friday, 22nd April.
Ade Peachment went along to an earlier, more low key, album release show at the same venue a couple of months ago.
Here’s his report from that gig, with a sneak preview of the new album, ‘Chukka Chukka’ too.
“When I retire I’d like to live in a lighthouse. Nothing too flashy.
Someone who is hopefully far from retiring is Toby Barelli, aka King Size Slim, who has just released the fantastic album 'Chukka Chukka' on Treehouse 44 Records.
I was lucky enough to attend the album launch on a beautiful sunny afternoon down the wonderful Albion pub in George Street, Hastings.
As golden shards of light streamed into the seafront bar King Size Slim ably assisted by four of Hastings finest singers belted out a stunning version of ‘May We Find’. This Gospel influenced album closer is one of the many genres encompassing an album well worthy of your time.
Here’s a recently released video for ‘May We Find’ to illustrate what I mean.
‘Chukka Chukka’ is an album full of stone cold future classics mixing not just blues riffs but reggae, ska and even hip hop beats. Not only are there elements of John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat, Taj Mahal and Woody Guthrie, but also Galliano, Tom Waits, Gomez and The Selector.
In 2005 Toby began experimenting with a new sound – a sound fully conscious of its roots but with a new story to tell.
Having spent the previous four years touring the world and recording with Two Tone pioneers 'The Selecter', that sound was always going to be rhythm led, rootsy and bass heavy, built from the ground-up to incorporate an innate love of Blues and Folk music from around the world.
The big warm tones from his resonator guitar, with a powerful and direct vocal style, soon became the King Size Slim trademarks that define a truly heavyweight acoustic sound that at once both shouts loud and kisses sweet.
This album is the culmination of years of touring and perfecting his distinctive sound.
Fat Roots boogie and heavyweight acoustics since 2005 indeed.”
Find more about King Size Slim at: kingsizeslim.com