Spring king - Interview and Gig Review
3rd March 2016
Spring King- 10th February 2016, Think Tank, Newcastle
I made sure I had a good place as FEWS took their place on stage – not a difficult task in a venue as intimate as Think Tank. After Spring King had recommended them during the interview I was keen to see what the fuss was about; and the Swedish-American four piece did not disappoint, with their guitar-psych infused sound. The band have only released two singles so far, but they didn’t let that hold them back from playing an energy-filled half hour set; energy that was evidently transferred into the crowd, with a mosh-pit in full swing by the end of the first song. The atmosphere built slowly throughout the set, with the boys finishing on latest single “Zoo” which saw the teens in the front row continue to head-bang to their hearts content and set the atmosphere perfectly for the main act.
By the time Spring King were ready to perform, the venue had really filled out, reflecting the quickly growing popularity of the band. Having recently come off tour with bands such as Spector and Slaves, the boys had the task of adjusting back to playing to an only slightly smaller crowd for the opening night of their headline tour. However small the venue, the reception was not an underwhelming one. As they jumped straight into first song “Better man”, drummer and frontman Tarek Musa was clearly enjoying the reaction, as he gushed “F***ing hell, we weren’t expecting that for the first song!” Clearly, the Newcastle crowd was not here just to stand around.
As Musa mentioned in our interview, the band have only been playing ‘seriously’ together for about a year. However, the relentless touring that they’ve been doing since then was evident, as they launched into last year’s single “Who are you?” with ease. Their preference for playing smaller shows was clear, no sooner had the first chord been played there were legs flying up into the air and crowd-surfing was a-go. A quick glance at Spring King’s artist playlist on Spotify gives you an intriguing insight into their eclectic array of musical influences, from Jimi Hendrix and The Smiths, to more contemporary influences such as Grimes. The latter being one they chose to share with the crowd, with a surprising, yet astonishing cover of “Oblivion”. Taking little time to stop and chat in between songs, the boys seemed eager to cram as much as they could into their hour set, luring the crowd to “ride through space and time” with them during “In All This Murk and Dirt” from their “They’re coming after you” EP. We were also treated to a few gems from the “Demons” EP as well as new single (and one of Annie Mac’s hottest records), “Rectifier”.
Soon it was time for the final song: “City”. The one everyone had been waiting for, and everyone could enjoy with at least a hint of recognition after it gained such huge popularity thanks to Zane Lowe’s decision to “insanely” (Spring King’s words, not mine) play it as the initial track on his Beats 1 radio station, to ears in cities across the world, from L.A to London. Clearly all of this sudden success has not gone to Spring King’s heads, as they were quite happy to come and chat with the crowd and sell merchandise once the show had come to a close; much to the excitement of their teenage fans who seemed to be relishing the opportunity to compare notes with the band about their instruments and performance.
The inescapable sense of excitement when listening to this band and the enthralling live performance they’re capable of really gives you the feeling that these boys are set for something big in the future. And as the band have recently been signed to a label, the boys will no longer have to record their singles, (and hopefully album) in converted bathrooms, as they allegedly did for their EP’s; it’s only going to get better from here.