Being the first band to ever be played on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show, Manchester art-punkers’ Spring King had a lot to live up to. Luckily, their raucous show at Manchester’s Academy2 saw the boys prove themselves to be one of the most exciting and unruly live acts around! The band’s performance to a packed-out NME stage at Reading 16 and the release of their adrenaline-fueled debut, ‘Tell Me If You Like To’ have seen Spring King amass a dedicated fan base, and I was buzzing for tonight’s sold-out gig. I wouldn’t be disappointed.
Being a hugely excitable fan of second support act, The Magic Gang, I was eager to see what Kent “dirty pop” four-piece Get Inuit would bring to the party. Having heard a few of the band’s earlier tracks, I was fan of their upbeat surf-rock tone, but on the night I was astounded by their blistering and energetic set. Launching headfirst into summery new single ‘Teriyaki’, the room exploded into a frenzy of flailing bodies as die-hard fans screamed the infectious chorus back. This buzz didn’t quit, and was carried through their 100mph set, accompanying early hits like ‘I Am The Hot Air’ and ‘Cutie Pie, I’m Bloated’. If you’re a fan of Get Inuit’s studio tracks, you’ll be blown away by their live performance, catch them if you can, these guys are gonna be huge!
Having already donned my Magic Gang t-shirt, I must say I was incredibly excited to see the Brighton boys again. As frontman Jack Kaye strides on stage, i’m thrown against the barrier as an army of squealing fans surge forward. What follows is half an hour of slacker-rock bliss, as the band perform fan-favourites like ‘Jasmine’, ‘All This Way’, and ‘Lady, Please’ as well as early cuts like ‘Alright’, ending with the grunge-pop euphoria of ‘No Fun’. What always strikes me about The Magic Gang is how their lo-fi fuzz-pop translates into a frenzied and ecstatic live performance. Tonight only cemented them as one of my favourite new bands on the circuit.
The half an hour wait for Spring King was agonizing, but when the lights go down, and smoke crowds the room, the audience lets out at a wild scream as the band take to the stage. Tarek assumes his intense position as frontman/vocalist/drummer, signaling the first song with four short drumstick taps, before the rest of the band dive into the 3-minute blitz of ‘Better Man’.
The band flay their instruments to within an inch of their lives and within minutes’ bassist James Green has broken his guitar, as Tarek exclaims “James has smashed the shit out of his bass already!”. Early singles including the fierce garage-rock blasts of ‘Detroit’ and ‘Who Are You?’ are well received as the crowd leaps around, and mosh pits collide. The bands on-stage antics only gear the audience up further, and midway through the set, people begin to throw their t-shirts and hoodies on stage en-masse.
Even slower-tracks like the swampy ‘Take Me Away’ come across furiously in a live setting, Spring King just seem to emanate an immense energy on stage fueling the crowd into a frenzy. The aggressively punchy title-track ‘TMIYLT’ causes the room to erupt. There’s sweat, A LOT OF SWEAT, it’s everywhere! Crowd surfers rise above the melee briefly before crashing back down, it’s mayhem…
What surprises me is how even lesser known songs from earlier EPs like ‘Mumma’ and ‘Can I?’ are lapped up eagerly by the crowd, who shout the lyrics back at the top of their lungs. Perhaps the highlight of Spring King’s storming set were the high-energy performances of summery jam, erm, ‘The Summer’ and opening track ‘City’, my favourite track off their debut. By this point in the night, the crowd were an exhausted mess, however still managed to pool enough energy to go bat shit crazy for last song ‘Rectifier’ – a bloody brilliant end to a chaotic evening.
I must admit, seeing Spring King grow from a bedroom DIY project to the manic live band they are today in just the short space of a year or so is incredible, and I can’t wait to see where these guys are gonna go next! If you haven’t already, grab yourself tickets to their headline tour, you might leave bruised, battered and sweaty, but you won’t regret a thing…
Spring King played:
- Better Man
- Tell Me If You Like To
- Can I?
- Take Me Away
- It’s So Dark
- Who Are You?
- They’re Coming After You
- Let’s Ride