It has been almost a month since I saw Spring King bring an absolutely amazing gig to Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach. I can agree with the term of being ‘third time lucky’ as it was my third time seeing them in the city however, anyone who was at that the gig on the 15th February can confirm they were lucky to experience it too. Seeing the risks Cardiff’s music scene is being faced with at the moment this was definitely a refreshing reminder and revive of how much gigs from bands like this make it so special. The crowd were a sweaty sea throughout and from the beginning of first support act Calva Louise, whose female frontee had previously played with the wonderful Wonk Unit and they delivered a fuzzy frenzy of grunge into Clwb. As well as a fast fuse of dirty indie rock from Kent four piece Get Inuit. Then of course came the set from the band whose self produced debut is in my opinion the best of 2016! Spring King.
Beforehand, myself and fellow Let It Happen writer Carly managed to squeeze a very chilled short and sweet interview out of the guys, here it is:
Carly: So, tour kicked off Sunday in Oxford, sold out show. How was it?
Tarek: Really good show, the crowd were pretty intense like really loving, jumping around. Yeah, all our fans are always really positive.
Dali: Tonight is almost sold out isn’t it?
Tarek: Yeah like ten or twenty tickets off selling out. But we have a really good fanbase, everyone is always up for a good time so it’s just like fun to play. So we played Oxford then we played Southampton. Southampton was packed as well. And crazy, hectic!
Dali: You’re supporting Kaiser Chiefs next week, you excited for that?
Tarek: Yeah, um we’re supporting them for nine shows, playing a load of arenas. Loads of big, big rooms that we never ever thought we would be playing in our lives, 02 in London which is like twenty thousand people. Are we coming back to Cardiff? We’re playing Llandudno.
Pete: Llandudno is like an eight hundred capacity room which will be nice in contrast to the twenty thousand people (laughing) that we have to try and impress. Eight hundred is something we are probably a bit more comfortable with but yeah, twenty thousand should be interesting.
James: We did one of our own shows in Bournemouth which is like an eighty cap venue and yep, that place has like sixty millions postcards or something.
Pete: I don’t know what he is talking about.
Carly: So tonight then, Get Inuit are your support act, they have been on tour with you before. What is your relationship like with them?
Pete: Really good. I can’t remember how we first discovered them actually, i think it was through you James? James knew one of the guys in the band through some older band and we took them on tour. I think we’ve played probably thirty shows with them now! They’re great guys, really friendly and they play a great show – quite an original sound as well so it is always good to take them on tour with us.
Dali: Out of all the venues you have played at, which one is your favourite?
* Tarek questions Carly keeping her bank card in the back of her phone * (laughing) ‘cool’.
Tarek: Our favourite venue we’ve played? For me personally, it has to be the Kazimier Club in Liverpool which doesn’t exist anymore, it’s been bulldozed and turned into apartments. But it was an incredible venue and I think my favourite. Andy’s still thinking.
Andy: Thekla. Maybe?
Tarek: Thekla in Bristol?
Andy: That’s just because it’s on a boat and that kinda trumps a lot of venues being on a boat.
James: I’d probably say the Kaz as well, but the gig we played there was a band called Joan Of Arc. And the guys of Joan Of Arc used to be in a band called American Football who are like one of my favourite bands of all time so I just squealed like a girl basically the whole time we were there.
Pete: I like the Brudenell in Leeds, Brudenell Social Club? We supported Courtney Barnett there and played a few of our own shows there but never in the big room so hopefully one day we will get to play the big room and that would be special.
Carly: This is my first time seeing you guys live, what can I expect from a Spring King gig then?
James: Hopefully it will be busy and should be very fast, loud. You might have to be careful of flailing elbows and kids just being a bit mental but it is very fun, very funny.
Pete: I think a fun show, lots of melodies, lots of dancing – hopefully.
Dali: For me, it is actually my third time seeing you in Cardiff.
Tarek: Really? You must’ve seen us in the Full Moon!
*I agreed and chatted about meeting them ft. my Dad with brown hair back then* anyway…
Pete: That was a really fun show actually with such a tiny little stage you can’t really move at all.
Dali: I ended up seeing Fews again, who are really good.
Pete: Yeah they’re a great band.
Dali: Would you like the opportunity to play Swn Festival again, as this is kind of like a re schedule date of that?
Tarek: Oh yeah we were meant to do that festival but I got really sick, so then we couldn’t do the festival and thought we will come to Cardiff anyway and play a show as part of the tour. But we would love to play that festival, I think Estrons took our place and they’re an incredible band to play instead of us. Would have been a good night I heard.
Carly: So have you had any favourite moments of the year so far, I know we are early on but?
Pete & Tarek: This year?
Tarek: I think mine was when we played with Hinds in Madrid. We supported Hinds which was a home show for them so we had their crowd who were really friendly and welcoming to us then we all got really drunk. Which was amazing.
Dali: Is there anything in particular you are excited for this year?
Andy: Still thinking. (laughing)
Pete: I’m really excited to start work on the next album honestly. Once we have done this tour and the Kaiser Chiefs’ tour I think we will spend a bit of working out what the next bit of music is going to be. I don’t know, it is really exciting when you hear a new song for the first time, coming together. It makes you feel energized again, so I think I am looking forward to that feeling.
Carly: Are there any ideas for new music yet?
Pete: There’s a few bits and bobs about but like I think we need a bit of time away from touring to get our heads straight with it, to decide what the next step is.
Dali: This year you’re playing Tramlines, have you got any other festivals lined up as well?
James: Yeah Tramlines, it’s going to be great. I don’t think we have ever done Tramlines before, we did do a different festival in Sheffield but yeah it’ll be great! We are doing a few European festivals; in France; the Czech Republic which is with Paramore, Papa Roach – quite funny. I don’t think we have many more UK festivals announced but hopefully like last year we will be doing loads. Hopefully a few but not too many.
Carly: In just over a month Wytches are playing here in Clwb! You fans of those guys?
Pete: Yeah I think we played with them maybe once at the Dome in Tufnell Park, London and CMJ, New York years ago. We actually don’t know them very well personally but they are a really really good live band. In fact when we were recording the debut album we were in a residential studio in Lincolnshire and they were in the studio next door to us doing their next record. That was quite funny. They are really good, heavy live band.
Dali: They’re part of Flying Vinyl festival too, it looks really good – are you excited for that?
Pete: Yeah I think the line up is really really good for that show.
Carly: A lot of the festival line ups have been released lately, are there any you want to go see?
James: I’d love to go to Primavera. That’s a dream. I’ve never been there and I don’t know if I have the money but the line up is always amazing there. I think it would be great for us to just go and hang out, probably.
What about you guys?
Pete: I actually don’t know who is playing Primavera?
James: All sorts of people mate! All sorts.
Pete: All the best.
James: That’d be mad.
(laughing about festivals)
Carly: The album had massively great reviews from anyone and everyone really, NME hyped it up a lot as well, how does that feel?
Tarek: Feels good to have a lot of support from lots of magazines, press and the fans. The most important thing is that when you go to a show your fans come up to you afterwards, they tell you they love the album. Or they’re singing along. That is the best feeling in the world to be looking out on stage and people are singing back to you, that is when I know the album has done what I wanted to do, connect with people and make them feel good. But yeah, it was great to have the NME, DIY, Line Of Best Fit and loads of smaller blogs and bigger magazines – all types. It was great to have some really good exposure from it.
Dali: Was there a moment after the album release we you felt like ‘Yes we have made it’sort of feeling?
Tarek: When we actually put the album out I was like yes I am done (laughs). It was a good feeling to actually have something out there that is more than four or five tracks. That feeling was great and anything after that was a bonus really.
I want to thank Spring King again for my first interviewees and as always, being so lovely.
Here are a few photos I managed to capture at the gig, though due to the crazy crowd I didn’t take any during the set(sorry!).
If you’ve been hibernating for the past year and aren’t following Spring King already you can check out their website here.
As well as their latest single as of 2016: