Southern Soul in Shoreditch

Craving a taste of home, I went to see American soul and blues group, The Marcus King Band, at the Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch last week.

They were kicking off their first night on tour across Europe and America, which also happened to be the young band’s first time across the big pond.

Bandleader Marcus King
Bandleader Marcus King

Southern Roots

Marcus, who leads the band at only 20 years old, and the group’s other five members are all from the Carolinas. Everyone is in their 20s, but don’t let their age be any indication of how advanced and complex their sound is.

  • Marcus King: Vocals, Guitar
  • Jack Ryan: Drums
  • Stephen Campbell: Bass
  • Justin Johnson: Trumpet, Trombone
  • Matt Jennings: Organ, Keyboards
  • Dean Mitchell: Saxophone

“The majority of our songs are specific to situations I’ve lived,” King explains on his website. “I write as a form of therapy, to release my emotions into a musical expression.”

Standing in front of the small stage in the shadow of the bright lights, you could almost see the band release their emotions into the air and fill the space in between rocking bodies.

Within 60 seconds, their melodies took you to New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago and back. And the crowd didn’t want the journey to end there, shouting “We love you,” as soon as they cranked out their last note.

If you ever get a chance to see The Marcus King Band, you’ve got to check them out. In the meantime, here are some tracks you can start jamming to now:

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