From the searing blues riffs and enigmatically slurred vocals of their debut, nobody would have earmarked Kings Of Leon as future arena-packing hitmakers. Yet some sharp haircuts and a minor revamp later and the brothers (and cousin) Followill metamorphosed from the Bayou Strokes to Platinum chart-toppers.
Kings Of Leon were a hit from the start, if not quite the hit they would become. Formed by brothers Caleb, Jared and Nathan with cousin Matthew, their 2001 debut landed right slap band in the middle of the great guitar rush of the early 00s. Cult success was almost immediate, helped by the single Molly’s Chambers and the band’s incendiary live shows, a flurry of hair and guitars that felt inspired by childhoods spent traversing the south with their father’s travelling evangelist show.
There was more than a hint of progress with the band’s second album, 2005’s Aha Shake Heartbreak. The riffs were more refined, Caleb’s vocals were borderline intelligible and the hooks hit harder, especially on the remarkable album highlight The Bucket. It turned out to be an inspired adjustment; as so many peers fell away after promising debuts, Kings Of Leon were only growing in stature.
Even greater success was signposted by the band’s Ethan Johns-produced third album Because Of The Times, which showed they’d learned a thing or two from touring as support for U2. All that early promise was well and truly delivered on with Only By The Night, which featured the huge hit single Sex On Fire. Both album and single more than earned their respective No.1 slots.
Come Around Sundown kept the band’s trajectory pointed firmly towards the sky, topping the album charts in 15 countries. However, signs of strain were starting to appear and after Caleb walked off a Texas stage mid-performance in 2011, Kings Of Leon went on hiatus. It was short lived, though, and the band was back with Mechanical Bull in 2013.
Following the supporting tour, Kings Of Leon went straight back into the studio to record their next album, WALLS. Their eighth studio album, When You See Yourself, followed in March 2021.
In September 2021, Kings Of Leon 2022 UK tour dates were confirmed, kicking off in June in Birmingham.
Kings Of Leon 2022 UK tour dates
13 Jun 2022 – Resorts World Arena, Birmingham
14 Jun 2022 – First Direct Arena, Leeds
28 June 2022 – SSE Hydro, Glasgow
29 Jun 2022 – Utilita Arena, Newcastle
01 July 2022 – The O2 Arena, London
05 July 2022 – AO Arena, Manchester