Spring King @ The Loft, Southampton 5/2/18

Halfway through their huge 19-date UK tour, Macclesfield-based four-piece Spring King brought their gritty guitar sounds and dainty name to The Loft. With an amalgamation of pre-teens and men with, quite frankly, rather impressive beards, this tour – sprinkled with a few sold-out dates – is broadening their fan base and bringing alt-rock back to a new generation of music fans.

The night kicked off with Calva Louise; a female-fronted three-piece hailing from the capital produced a vibrant performance. The young band emit the kind of rock and roll rebel vibe that hailed from the 80s; vocally and instrumentally strong, you can hear influences ringing through from the likes of Wolf Alice, The Big Moon – and a slight hint of Zuzu, perhaps – with the energy packed performance they provided at The Loft. Performing their debut single – released back in 2017 – I’m Gonna Do Well, it’s safe to say I agree with the bands bold statement.

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Fizzy Blood were the second support act of the night, and well, they weren’t what I was really expecting. Despite the disturbingly hilarious facial expressions every member of the band seems to have mastered, the bassist’s – according to Twitter – being a particular hit, Fizzy Blood just didn’t do it for me. The use of two bassists and two guitarists nestled among the rest of the band on such a teeny venue, just amounted to a lot of noise and issues with the sound. That being said, the five-piece from Leeds have brilliantly charismatic stage presence throughout their set and the energy they put in will make you want to dance, if nothing else.

Having listened to Spring King a fair bit over the past couple of months, I thought I knew what to expect at one of their gigs. I was wrong. The thing that surprised me most about the set up? Tarek Musa doing an absolutely brilliant job on lead vocals and drums, something that has always wowed me – in an Owen Wilson voice – beyond compare. From the moment the band set foot on stage, the crowd went wild and the likelihood of circle and mosh pits and leaving the venue with bruises was made evident. With the slower songs being teamed with fast-paced hooks, the band had every person in that room screaming the words; or simply dancing frantically to the beat of the new songs, due to be released on the new album out this summer. The set list, made up majorly of tracks from their debut album – Tell Me If You Like To – was impeccable and featured hits including It’s So Dark, Rectifier and debut single Mumma. Taking influences from the likes of The Ramones, Springsteen and other gritty 80s punk, Spring King have mastered an on-trend sound that is stage-ready and only just beginning.

After beginning the night next door – playing pool at The Social – Spring King wound down after the gig by selling shirts at the merch stand, taking the chance to catch up with fans and staying down-to-earth as ever.

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Words by Tiffany Wright – @the_hellmouth

Illustrations by Charles Hoar

Photos by Hollie Dyes Shepherd

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