Spring King @ The Bodega
The post-punk four piece hailing from Manchester have been on the up-and-coming bands to watch list for a while now and returned to Notts’ Bodega following their co-headline slot at the same venue last year. Thanks to the magic of touring and radio exposure, interest in the Spring King has proliferated and means that this time round the bigger crowd and growing following completely sold-out the show on Thursday.
Bursting onto the stage with the explosive ‘Better Man’, the band charge head first into the set with admirable vigour. A band dynamic in which lead vocals come from the drummer and in which there are two guitar players is an interesting one indeed and gives a unique aspect to their on stage presence. Despite being a relatively young band, they fill the room with the assurance of a group that is more established. It’s great to watch and the reason for the hype surrounding the band is clear to see.
Spring King released their latest single ‘Rectifier’ earlier this year. It’s a jumpy track which opens with a Hawaiian-esque bass riff and quickly swoops into intense guitar loops. Their songs manage to retain enough pop appeal in their punk sound to be catchy and perfectly crafted to perform well in gigging scenarios. Similarly ‘City’ balances the ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ pop vocals shaped with signature guitar hooks and is it best heard performed live (a theme consistent throughout their set). A great quality for a band to have. Good music is one thing, but bringing that music to its best light in a show is something else – and in such a small packed venue the effect is tenfold.
“Sick!” lead vocalist-slash-drummer Tarek Musa breathes when the crowd cheers on the next track. He’s decked out in a baseball jacket and an almost 50’s-jock-style attire and tells us he’s gone too hard too soon. He’s quick to follow up with a promise to give us everything they’ve got for the rest of the set – a promise that is fulfilled (and then some). With on stage presence that is as energetic as the crowd, the band storm through ‘Can I?’. It’s a track which perfectly demonstrates the brashness of the band set at a slower pace.
They take the time to talk between songs only briefly, sipping beer and sailing through each song and even chucking in a Grimes cover to the setlist, which they absolutely smashed. More than just an impressive and energetic band, they are fun. They are having fun with it and their confidence is reassuring to watch as well as enjoyable to watch.
Having a good reception last time they were in Notts as well, the band are quick to mention they’ll be hanging out by the bar after the gig. The torrent of guitar in ‘Who are you?’ sees them exclaim, ‘Kicking punching my way to the top’, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do. There was no encore, but as you may have guessed, there was no encore needed. These guys did not disappoint and are definitely ones to watch in 2016.
By Rebecca Delaurenzy