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2023 Albums Thing 215 - Kingmaker “Eat Yourself Whole”

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King maker's single “When Lucy’s Down” was produced and recorded by Pat Collier at his Greenhouse studio near Old Street in London in 1991, the very same Producer and studio responsible for The Wonder Stuff’s first two album so of course we were interested in having a listen. And what a single it was. We all trooped off to see them at the ULU and before you knew it Kingmaker were announced as the main support on the Wonder Stuff’s December 1991 “Sleigh The UK Winter Tour”. As a result I got to know them well and, when schedules allowed, worked on their crew on a number of UK tours.

They were a 3 piece which drew me to them immediately, an incredibly powerful live band, drummer John Andrew is one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. They wrote brutally honest and in some ways confrontational songs. I thought they were gonna be massive which probably cursed them from the off as my track record in that department ain’t great, sorry chaps (see Eat, Jellyfish etc. for proof). “Eat Yourself Whole” was their debut album released in 1991. Sadly my vinyl copy is largely unplayable due to the labels being stamped into the actual vinyl rather than where they should be in the middle, who knows what was happening at the pressing plant that day, so we’ll talk about it here, just briefly.

Drummer John Andrew was a big part of Kingmakers sound along with Liz Hardy’s guitar playing. Their songs were big and loud, see “Really Scrape The Sky” and “High As A Kite”. My favourites on here are two of the more sedate songs, “Freewheeling” and “Hard Times”…and after typing that I’ve just crashed into the realisation after 32 years that “Freewheling” isn’t on the vinyl version of this album, only on the CD…what were they thinking ?

I worked with Kingmaker on and off up until 1995 when we all went off and did other things. I had occasional contact with John and bass player Myles Howell but Loz seemed to disappear off the edge off the earth. I’d hear 4th hand tales of him living in a certain BritPop lady singers basement or he was in Europe somewhere teaching English. So it was fantastic back in August when a picture appeared on Facebook showing all three of them sitting around somebody’s dining room table drinking red wine and smiling. I liked Kingmaker a lot…

Hard Times - https://youtu.be/dnLki4x94sQ?si=Ed-MgLOK7Ux0hwiT

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