Track Of The Day #410: King Prawn - 'A Solemn Man'

Track Of The Day #410: King Prawn – ‘A Solemn Man’

king prawn

While I was living my “punk rock years” between 2003 and 2009, I discovered a lot of groups who no longer appeal to me at all. In contrast King Prawn were certainly more highly regarded, and their music always seemed to have more weight than many others. Mixing ska, hip hop, ragga and punk (among other things) they were hugely influential on bands like Capdown, Random Hand and The King Blues, adding extra dimensions and depth to the UK punk scene. Unfortunately I got into the group just as they had announced their split in 2003, but that didn’t stop their four superb albums becoming part of my collection. 

So it was a pleasant surprise to hear that King Prawn had reformed last year in 2012. After embarking on their first tour for nearly a decade, the reignited outfit have just released some brand new material, and despite original bassist Babar Luck choosing to opt out of the KP resurrection, the magic is still there. And after spending the last few years with Asian Dub Foundation, frontman Al Rumjen continues to deliver the lyrics with vital urgency surging through his unmistakable vocals.

While ‘Done Days’ evokes the sound of the beaten and bruised rising defiantly, it goes way beyond basic “ska-punk” in terms of melody, allowing a hint of soulful maturity to colour the music. Then we get it’s AA side, the awesome and somewhat darker ‘A Solemn Man’, which carries on from where ‘Got The Thirst’ left off. It builds slowly from Spanish-flavoured discontent into a rousing middle section before making fine use of their new expanded brass section towards the end. There’s more to come too, as they have suggested that a new album is in the making. Good to have them back I say.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.