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Spring King

 – THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER –

Warming up the crowd tonight are two four pieces called Beach Baby and FEWS. For me, both sets are very similar but nevertheless great openers for those kings of spring. A driving rhythm section paired with swirling yet aggressive guitar playing from Beach Baby is enthralling to say the least. The four piece really get my foot tapping and my head bobbing, forgetting for almost half an hour I have a bottle of Peroni in my hand, the music is intoxicating enough.
FEWS are again of a similar formula, repetitive, building layer upon layer as the minutes tick by. Alternating vocals from both guitarists both having their own unique style, it is refreshing. Both bands aren’t a million miles away from Spring King, but I think the main difference is that Beach Baby and FEWS aren’t as direct in a way with their song writing or playing. I always think it’s a good idea to have a support act who will almost open up that particular part of your brain susceptible to great music, by tickling and massaging it with the notes, chords and general musical style more in tune with those from bands such as TOY or even Temples. Something loud, sometimes LONG in song length, a bit moody with a pinch of “new band” enthusiasm. Can’t go wrong. Both Beach Baby and FEWS have definitely gained some new fans tonight, including myself, impressive and fun; well in lads.

But now, moving on to what we’re all here for, it’s time for Spring King to put on their royal attire and await the coronation in front of their hometown brothers and sisters. I’ve been extremely impressed with Spring King every time I’ve seen them, including a support performance for Spector last year and another support slot for popular punk/pop duo Slaves. Their releases so far, including two EPs entitled Demons (2014) and They’re Coming After You (2015), are filled with absolute gems. So it is no surprise to witness a set which is practically 100% hit success, and no fucking misses. Their back catalogue doesn’t seem to contain any weak spots going off this performance. I was slightly worried because I’ve only seen them play around 5-6 songs in prior viewings, so how where they were going to double that enjoyment with perhaps lesser known tracks? Lesser known to me at least.

However, I’m very happy to report that every song that I’ve heard on record such as ‘In All This Muck and Dirt’, ‘Can I?’ and ‘Better Man’ were even better live. I think this is where Spring King are going to find most success; in the live performance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure future releases will be brilliantly crafted and produced, but if they continue to perform with this sort of intensity and passion then they are bound to be a popular live act as they grow and mature as a band. There’s no question they are one of the freshest and best new live acts in the UK today, it’s as simple as that.

Spring King

Spring King

With so many dime a dozen indie guitar bands these days, adding nothing more than brief blasts of reverb laden shite over a six month period, Spring King seem to possess all the qualities which make it extremely hard to fade into obscurity. Big and juicy choruses garnished with tight playing and all round solid instrumentation, washed down with large amounts of passion and an ambition the skies cannot contain. It’s fucking great.

Other highlights of the night include renditions of the astonishingly good ‘Who Are You?’ the lightning paced ‘Let’s Ride’ and the wonderful ballad like ‘Demons’. Even a cover of Grime’s track ‘Oblivion’ goes down well, which drummer and lead vocalist Tarek Musa (another little difference that makes SK stand out from others) declares has been a playing favourite on what is no doubt one of their biggest tours to date.

Mr. Musa even brakes his hi-hat, which I’ve never seen done before live surprisingly, but even how he handles the technical mishap just adds to the overall good feeling I get from this act. I cannot take my eyes off James Green on his bass, the way he bounces up and down whilst playing just puts a smile on my face, you can tell how much it means to him getting a good reception from this now deaf crowd, due to the loudness and no let-up approach from SK. Peter Darlington and Andy Morton, the guitarists, are equally grateful. With another impressive song, simultaneously being their new single, ‘Rectifier’, and finishing with the even bigger track ‘City’, they finished their no holds barred slobber knocker of a set. I was left wanting more, which sometimes isn’t as bad as it sounds, they were so good I didn’t want it to end.

Tonight was a performance full of power, energy and big balls. Sure, the Deaf Institute isn’t massive but if a band can conquer a smart looking venue like this, in their hometown, selling it out, then for me that’s a sign of great things to come. I’m extremely excited to see what they do this year in terms of more gigs, festival appearances and ultimately a full album release. I have complete faith that the four lads will deliver a record just as exciting, energetic and brimming with anthems for their loyal and growing fan base. Go see this band!

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I like nothing more than smoking bifters and criticising people much more talented than myself, it’s what I’m good at (I think), well sometimes I can be. I believe that getting wankered at a gig is crucial to the live review, you speak the truth, what you actually fucking thought. Rather than pussyfooting about, I like to be honest. It doesn’t bother me if people disagree with my opinions, that’s life innit. Listening to good music is vital to a healthy lifestyle, as well as the fruit and all that bollocks.