Artist: Black Kes

by on 25th August 2019

(All pics c/o Black Kes)

Years Active

2012 – Present


James Tranmer (slide guitar)
Chris Speck (washboard)
Adam Atkinson (guitar)
Ian Simpson (bass)

Archie Lamplugh (bass)


Black Kes originally started as a joke in 2012 after CrackTown’s Silver Fox left Hull to live in Rugby, meaning guitarist Adam Atkinson was left without a band.

Black Kes’ first live gig was accidentally headlining at the Sailmakers Arms on High Street at the Hulloween event back in 2013. Since then the band have supported a wide range of acts including The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Showaddywaddy, Dick Valentine, Lach, The Burning Hell and a variety of other great performers.

Frequently overlooked by local promoters [we’re not getting into that – Ed], the band opted to cut out the middle man and started their own promotions company, Pure West Promotions (an offshoot from Pure West Records which Adam Atkinson had founded whilst still in CrackTown). This has been a great success and the band have promoted gigs by like-minded acts from all over the country (and indeed the world), including David Cronenberg’s Wife, Washing Machine Repair Man and Eugene Ripper. They have also produced and performed a number of special sold out Black Kes shows, one based on the songs of Queen and another based on David Bowie’s classic album Ziggy Stardust.

Best described as a progressive skiffle band but with their roots deeply in the anti-folk movement, Black Kes are “kind of an avant-garde chicken in a basket cabaret show – if Black Lace really got in to David Bowie and couldn’t afford proper instruments”. In typical style, they describe their live shows as being “like Poundshop Flaming Lips gigs”.

(Aug 2019)



Premium Brew (CD) – Pure West Records, 2015

Boom Bam Shaba Man (CD) – Pure West Records, 2017