Heavyweight Acoustic Roots
In 2005 Toby Barelli aka KING SIZE SLIM began experimenting with a new sound. A sound fully conscious of its roots but with a new story to tell. Having spent the previous 4 years touring and recording with TwoTone pioneers ‘The Selecter’ along with other Ska and Reggae luminaries, the sound was always going to be rhythm led, heavy on the bass and rootsy in the melody. Big warm tones from his resonator guitar with a powerful and direct vocal style became the trademarks of the sound. Add rolling grooves, multi-layered percussion,vocals, harmonicas and myriad shakers to create a heavyweight acoustic sound that shouts loud and kisses sweet.
Live and Direct
Performing around 150 shows a year across the UK and Europe built Toby Barelli a reputation as a powerful performer and a must see act on the roots, acoustic and blues live circuits. Shows at the legendary 100 Club, Camdens Jazz Cafe, Islington Union Chapel and Blues Kitchen announced KING SIZE SLIM to an enthusiastic London scene.
Following the release of his debut studio album ‘MILK DRUNK’ in 2013 , KING SIZE SLIM won both critical acclaim and a British Blues Award for ‘Emerging Artist’ 2014. Word soon spread amongst gig go-ers and bookers alike that KING SIZE SLIM was a hot act and subsequently on New Years Eve 2014/15 Toby was hand-picked to perform solo support for rock legends Queen at the BBC event ‘Rock Big Ben’ at Westminster Central Hall, London. In the autumn of 2015 a double bill package featuring KING SIZE SLIM and guitar hero Skip ‘Little Axe’ McDonald toured the UK appearing at Liverpool Philharmonic, Albion Theatre London and other venues up and down the country. The intimacy of two solo artists presenting their individual sides of the roots music story on the same stage proved a great success.
On the record
Around a busy tour schedule, recording began on ‘Chukka Chukka’ a second studio album in the middle of 2015 with a successful release in March 2016. R2 magazine had this to say:
“few artists create a distinctive sound, Toby Barelli aka KING SIZE SLIM has done just that… terrific stuff”
4/5 star review
Navigating Airports and Autobahns between Festivals across Europe in 2017 KING SIZE SLIM:SOUND , the four-piece version of KING SIZE SLIM ,mustered in their native Hastings for a live recording in the newly refurbished ‘Music Room’ at the historic Palace Bars to an invited crowd.