The story so far…
In 1993 singer Al Rumjen and guitarist Devil Hands moved to London to form a band, they got robbed on their very first night as they couldn’t be arsed to unload the removal van. This would set the tone for the freak show that followed.
After recruiting bassist Babar Luck and drummer Nikolai Jones from a Melody Maker ad, King Prawn’s infectious blend of Ska, Hip Hop & Punk Rock wowed crowds from the Arctic Circle to Sicily and one or two other places in between, earning them a reputation as one of the most entertaining live acts coming out of London. The rock press loved their sense of unpredictability and their growing fanbase adored their ability to simultaneously implode and explode on stage.
The band released their first two albums on Words of Warning Records, ‘First Offence’ produced by Skunk Anansie guitarist Ace & ‘Fried in London’ co-produced by Harvey Birrell (Therapy?). An invitation from Madness to play Madstock in Finsbury Park followed as did nominations for ‘Best New British Band’ at the 1998 Kerrang! Awards and again in the ‘Spirit of Independence’ category in 2000.
The band signed to Spitfire Records (Eagle Rock Entertainment) for the release of their 3rd album, ‘Surrender To The Blender’. The release was accompanied by extensive European touring, supports with Therapy?, Desmond Decker, Prince Buster, Ska-P, a billing at Dour Festival and a live prime-time Italian TV performance on Roxy Bar.
In 2002 the band released their fourth album ‘Got the Thirst’ on Golf Records, with Skunk Anansie’s Ace returning to the production seat. The album featured their best known single ‘The Dominant View’, assisted by regular airing on the newly launched P-Rock cable TV channel. Promotional work for this LP saw a debut tour in Japan, a BBC R1 Maida Vale session & billings at Reading & Leeds Festival. The band saw the year out with a final sell out show at London’s Forum before bowing out for a much deserved decade long sabbatical.
The decision to split in 2003 at the height of their popularity left a lasting legacy as a seminal band in the late 90’s Ska-Punk scene. Singer Al Rumjen moved to Italy and enjoyed a 5-year stint as vocalist for Asian Dub Foundation, touring the world and recording two albums with the band.
In 2013, The Prawn once again hopped eagerly aboard the joyous charabanc for more musical escapades. The newly reformed King Prawn, with Zac Chang replacing irreplaceable bassist Babar Luck, expanded to a 7-piece with brass section and keyboards.
During that Summer King Prawn returned to play Reading & Leeds festival, Rebellion festival, headline shows at Slam Dunk, Boomtown Fair, Bearded Theory and several festivals in Belgium.
In 2019 King Prawn signed to Cherry Red Records and released their long awaited 5th studio album ‘The Fabulous New Sounds Of’ in CD format, also released on Property of The Lost Records in Ltd edition blue vinyl format with gatefold sleeve. Six years in the making, they certainly took their time but to be frank, it’s a stone cold corker. The band returned for another heroic performance at Boomtown Fair, followed by supports with Less Than Jake & Me First & The Gimme, Gimmes, a UK tour and their first shows inn Croatia since reforming. The band wrapped up the year with two shows in Belgium before recording new material for release in 2020.
Then Covid 19 struck and all scheduled shows and festivals for 2020 were cancelled. However during this period King Prawn have released ‘Rockas An’ Them’ EP featuring the single ‘Hide From Tomorrow’, followed by the singles ‘New Vibration’ and ‘Wildstyle’ on their own label Inna Rut Records.
In their 28 year since their haphazard beginnings, King Prawn remain a cross-generational force to be reckoned with… long live The Wildstyle!