Biography



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.

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.

Around an enormously busy tour schedule, recording began on 'Chukka Chukka' the second 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

2017 will see KING SIZE SLIM take a new 4 piece band on the road, taking in Festivals and venues across the UK and Europe

London Gig Guide 'must see act'
IBBA album of the month
British Blues Award 'Emerging Artist'
Wasser Prawda magazine awards nominee

Selected UK festivals appearances... Glastonbury, Big Chill, Beautiful Days,Red Rooster, Bestival, Love Supreme, Acoustic festival of Great Britain, Small World, Smugglers Fest,

Shows with.... Son of Dave, Micheal Chapman, John Renbourn, Queen, Skip McDonald, Skinny Lister, Wizz Jones, Shake Shake Go, Voudoo Game, Tinariwen , Steve Finnerty (Alabama 3) ,Heritage Blues Orchestra, Hayseed Dixie. Miller Anderson.

“Heres 'Milk Drunk' ... I really like this record!” - Huey Morgan, BBC Radio 2

"..the stand out performance of the weekend." E;Festivals Acoustic Festival of Great Britain