Review: Spring King at The Engine Rooms, Southampton

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Likely because I just know too many bands at this point, or because Spring King are fantastic at choosing support acts, I was excited to see every single band playing that night. It’s insane to consider how much they’ve blown up, from tiny northern gigs and a couple of EPs to their first album and a sold out Engine Rooms. Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio show featured their song ‘City’ as the opening song for the first show, and since then they’ve just become huge.

Opening with self described ‘dirty pop’ band Get Inuit, they were a fantastic match for Spring King, having a similarly high tempo setlist and interjecting with self-deprecating jokes about how because their song is new it’s shit or how they ‘never had our attention’. This certainly wasn’t true as their delightful harmonies made for an excited and engaged, albeit not yet full, crowd. Highlights included popular ‘Teriyaki’ and ‘My Oh My’, as well as the aforementioned new song which I’m very excited to hear when it’s out. Second support act The Big Moon are impressively tight and professional, with some lovely messages about consent: “This song is about kissing people you don’t know so it you see someone you like… don’t kiss them because you need consent!”. Featuring ‘Pull The Other One’ and ‘Formidable’, very funky shirts and a lot of girl love, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band enjoy playing with each other as much as they did.

It wasn’t long until Spring King came on to a fully packed room, thanking everyone for being there before launching straight into ‘Better Man’. Though strange to see the frontman drumming, they were delightfully indie and crowd pleasing, complete with Get Inuit shirts which was lovely to see. ‘Detroit’ and ‘It’s So Dark’ prompted some tiny mosh pits at the front, though the crowd and band seemed keen to make sure only those who wanted to be in them were in them, which was heartwarming to see. We were implored to “Take care of each other, pick up people who fall down, and drink water” – has there ever been more rock and roll advice? I don’t think so.

On the beautifully melodic ‘They’re Coming After You’ they had us join in on the chorus, before jumping straight into the complete opposite sounding ‘Mumma’. Very often rock and especially indie is about heartbreak, problems, and negativity but it was just so much fun to be at a gig where everyone was enjoying themselves, where the band had a fantastic rapport with us and where every band so clearly loved what they were doing. If this enthusiasm and crowd support is where they are now after only a few years, I can’t imagine how big they’re going to become.

Spring King are on tour with the Kaiser Chiefs from February 22nd to March 4th.

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Second year PAIR student and live editor. Fan of cats, tea lover, can be found rambling about politics and cats at @_Carly_May on Twitter.

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