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King Size Slim

Hailing from Hastings, King Size Slim – AKA Toby Barelli – delivers raw, heartfelt, acoustic roots boogie with the help of his stellar live band and a trusty road-worn vintage resonator guitar.

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The music, percussive and dynamic in its nature, melodic and soulful in its heart, shouts loud and kisses sweet. The British Blues Award winning artist has released 5 studio albums and performed over 1500 shows in countless countries across 4 continents. We speak to Toby (AKA King Size Slim) about the show, what to expect and how he got the name. Plus, win two tickets to the show.

We are looking forward to seeing you come to Komedia this July. For those who have not seen you live, how would you sum up a ‘King Size Slim’ show?


We're very much looking forward to coming to Komedia. We're a kicking band, with great original songs and an engaging show. We get audiences dancing and singing with a line-up of acoustic instruments like a Double Bass, Resonator Guitar, Baritone Saxophone and a Washboard drum-kit. 


So did the name come from rolley paper?


Well, kind of. Many years ago, whilst I was touring in Europe, I was given the name KING SIZE SLIM because of my likeness to the characterised face of Zig-Zag papers known as 'Le Zouave'. The name stuck. 


Have you always had a love for Blues music, and if so, who were your influences?


Yep, since I was quite young. But not just Blues, I'm glad I found that music quite young. I know it's a cliché but Blues really is the root of most modern western music. Everything else no matter how remote it seems can be traced back through its evolution to Blues. 


In the band we don't really play blues like a blues band, we just play good music that speaks to the audience in a heavyweight-acoustic style. 

There is so much energy and passion in your music, do you write songs with playing them live in mind?


Absolutely. At every stage I'm thinking about how this would work in front of an audience. That shapes the song. In my head I have an imagined crowd and I'll play through a new song trying different things out and see how it checks out with them. They can be cruel but always honest. I think that in these days of recorded music being more-or-less free at the point of use writing songs to be performed live is really important. As musicians that is our last bastion. 

How do fans across the world react to British Blues music, and is there a region or country that you have found has a real love for the genre?


I've played my music all over the world and honestly if you've got your boogie right nobody cares what language you're singing in.  


As far as British Blues goes. I think we have an advantage over others in that the lingua franca of Blues is English or more precisely American. That 'authentic' American sound is much easier for us to approximate than for singers in a lot of other countries. 

"Zeres a red house over yonder and zats where my baby stays" 


We played a show at Focsani Blues Festival a few years ago. I'd never been to Romania nor was I aware of any kind of following there. The whole town square was rammed with something like 5 or 6000 people. They loved every second of every act. Singing along and getting down. Before our set one of our crew pointed out a huge festival banner suspended from a near-by building it was perhaps 100ft square. In the middle of that banner about 40ft square was my publicity photo. KING SIZE SLIM! 

When we came to play our first song the crowd already knew the words. That is a powerful thing to experience..

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Do you get a chance to enjoy the city?


I'm hoping to. It's a busy weekend for us. We're headlining Upton Blues Festival on Friday , then a show over in Essex and then to Komedia on Sunday. It'd be nice to get to look round though.  


How can readers book tickets and keep up to date with your shows this summer?


Ticket links and everything else is all at Please subscribe and we can tell you when we're playing near you. 


You’ve played thousands of shows across the world. Do you prefer intimate venues or major festivals and do your sets change depending on the venue?


Every show counts. The intimacy of playing to a small crowd is a wonderful thing. I like to do that solo and preferably in-the-round. I've often put a chair amongst the audience and performed from there which makes the whole thing so much more inclusive and open. That said, a big old festival crowd with the full band is a real treat too.  


Currently we have a full-production multi-media theatre show that we get to perform a few times a year named KING SIZE SLIM 'Songs from the M/V Sea Witch: Broadcasting Live'. Thats a lot of fun and it's definitely the direction we're headed in.  

You’ve not played at Komedia before, but have you been to Bath much?


For a City with such a rich musical culture its odd that we've not played in Bath before. Obviously, I heard of The Bell and other places. Although I've been told I'm not allowed to visit Vintage and Rare Guitars whilst I'm in town.  If I go home with another Guitar I'll get into all kinds of trouble. 


two tickets to see King Size Slim at Komedia, Bath on 23rd July 2023. For a chance to win, simply click on the link below and follow the steps... Good luck!

buy tickets to see King Size Slim at Komedia, Bath on
23rd July 2023. Simply click the link below...

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