Manchester quartet Spring King have surely been one of the busiest bands on the UK live circuit for the last year or so. They’ve toured nonstop, supporting a long list of bands – most recently, modern punk powerhouse Slaves. Endorsements from the likes of Zane Lowe, Jools Holland and the folks at NME have earnt the band a super-hyped reputation which they have consistently justified with teasers of their debut LP Tell Me If You Like To due on the 10 June. Embarking on their second headline tour, they travel the UK in the run-up to the album release and a calendar of festival appearances this summer.
On the 18 March, the sixth night of the tour brought Spring King to Liverpool – a city they’re familiar with after supporting Spector and Slaves here at the end of last year and playing a raucous headline show at the Shipping Forecast which ended with crowd-surfing guitarist Pete Darlington being hoisted up against the ceiling.
Liverpool’s Arts Club venue quickly filled after the final whistle had been blown in Basel at the Europa League final – just in time for the start of the headliners’ set. Singing, song-writing and drumming frontman Tarek Musa, who is also the producer responsible for material by the likes of Gengahr and The Big Moon, led the charge into opening tracks “Better Man” and “Tell Me If You Like To”, which demonstrate garage rock sensibilities. Performances of both openers exhibit the raw energy of live shows that’s made Spring King the talk of every town on the touring circuit.
Photos: Amy McCulley
There’s always a chance that great support acts will fall short of the mark or be somewhat lacklustre when it comes to taking centre stage on a headline tour. But any lingering doubts are swiftly dispelled as Spring King grasp the attention of every pair of eyes and ears in the room with a dynamic live performance that both captures the muscle of their early work and brilliantly introduces new material.
Tarek wanders the stage as he delivers the opening verse to “They’re Coming After You” and bass player James Green leans into the crowd and is nearly dragged over the barrier as Spring King play breakthrough single “City”.
An encore of 2014 track “V-V-V-Vampire”, recorded in a disused Manchester bathroom, was a tribute to the lively Liverpool show and an expression of gratitude to loyal fans.
Tell Me If You Like To
They’re Coming After You
Who Are You?
In All This Murk And Dirt