KINGS OF THE SOUTH SEAS – Kings Of The South Seas (D.Wink DWINK CD12)

KOTSSYou may have strong views about the whaling industry and when it comes to the 21st century model I’d agree with you. But when it comes to the practices of two centuries ago go and read Moby-Dick and we’ll talk about it. The point is that all the songs on this album relate to whaling throughout the 19th century.

That fact may call to mind visions of horny-handed sons of the sea in sailor caps and roll-neck jerseys but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Kings Of The South Seas are led by Ben Nicholls, best known for his rôle in Seth Lakeman’s band along with Richard Warren (The Hybrids, Echoboy, Starsailor) on guitar and Evan Jenkins (Neil Cowley Trio) on drums. Rock and jazz alongside modern folk – this is nothing like you were expecting.

To be fair, some of it is fairly conventional, with Ben’s duet concertina as the melody instrument and a few bars wouldn’t scare your granny. Some songs have been heavily re-written from broadsides and other sources and any bowdlerisations have been deftly removed. The traditional nature of the songs remains even when Richard’s guitar is doing its best to obscure it so ‘Weary Whaling Grounds’ is dark and grim, offering an entirely new view of the song. There are oddities, too. The opening ‘I Never Missed My Home’ comes from a broadside collected in West Wittering but sounds not unlike an American hymn. One highlight is ‘King Of The Cannibal Islands’, which I’d previously known only as a dance tune, rendered here in all its unlikely glory and which is followed by ‘The Great Sea Snake’, another improbable tale.

On the first hearing Kings Of The South Seas can come as a bit of a shock but familiarity breeds both acceptance and understanding. You really should get to hear it.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website: https://www.facebook.com/kingsofthesouthseas/


Any CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD that are reviewed or featured above (where available) can be ordered below through our UK or US Storefront 

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.


Click above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD


Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/

Alternatively, search the Amazon main UK Store below.




Click above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD


Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/

Alternatively, search the Amazon main US Store below (change selection from Jethro Tull and click 'Go').


We all give our spare time to run folking.com. Our aim has always been to keep folking a free service for our visitors, artists, PR agencies and tour promoters. If you wish help out and donate something (running costs currently funded by Darren Beech), please click the PayPal link below to send us a small one off payment or a monthly contribution.


UK folk and Americana music website folking.comThanks for stopping by. Please help us continue and support us by tipping/donating to folking.com via paypal.me/folkingcom

We all give our spare time to run folking.com so making a donation/ tip makes all the difference. Our aim has always been to keep folking a free service for our visitors, artists, PR agencies & tour promoters so every little contribution really helps us to keep going.

%d bloggers like this: