A thought popped into my head earlier in the year that this whole challenge will probably get easier as the warmer weather arrives: more festivals, more random performances and my friends generally come out of hibernation.
And it is looking so. But despite not going to any outdoor shows this week, a random performance came my way unexpectedly.
On arrival in assembly Tuesday morning, a group of five Year 7 girls stood up in front of everyone to sing a beautiful version of “Falling Slowly” from “Once”. This is one of my favourite films, musicals and songs, so I was very happy. The girls looked incredibly nervous to start but eased into it. And credit to the rest of the House Group at school who watched with great respect and quiet. They were singing to promote Live Music Week at school in a few weeks. I hope that their performance has inspired other students to showcase their musical talents.
A little later this week, I saw two performances very different to that assembly act. My brother James, his friend Mike and I headed to Lennon’s to see Spring King. I’d heard a lot about them and knew some of the songs I’d heard on the radio and was very excited to see them live.
Unfortunately, we missed the first support act (as I’ve said before, always go see support acts if you can – you never know when you might find your next favourite band) but the second one was a treat. They were called Get Inuit. (https://www.facebook.com/GetInuit) I’d heard them before on the radio and seen their name on various festival line ups. I remembered them because of their name – who doesn’t love a play on words? Painfully under-represented in the music industry I feel.
Get Inuit turned out to be good at music as well as puns. Fun, chirpy songs that you could tap along to – just what you want in a support band. I also liked the cut of the lead singer’s jib. He spoke to the crowd in a way that I always want lead singers to do. No overly pretentious, self-important drama. He introduced a new song and then added the aside that to most of us, they’re all new anyway. THAT IS THE EXACT COMMENT THAT IS IN MY INTERNAL MONOLOGUE IN THESE SITUATIONS. Thank God someone speaks the truth.
They were a little odd. But I liked them. They sounded like a band you’d see playing at The Bronze or The Bait Shop (*turn of the millennium pop culture klaxon alert ). And that’s no bad thing.
Then Spring King came on. (https://www.facebook.com/springkingmusic/?fref=ts)
They are very loud and very energetic. I hadn’t realised that the lead singer was also the drummer so I spent most of the first song stretching on tiptoes to see where the lead singer was. Yes, I’m short, but usually I can see something of the singer – I knew something was different.
Their songs are incredibly catchy and they look like they’re having a ball – a feeling that’s mirrored by the crowd. A tall, bald man in front of me didn’t stop po-going. I admire his stamina. We all go hot and sweaty, we all sang along and we all had bloody good time.
Spring King are a fantastic live act. That is what this whole challenge is about. I knew of them but only really knew two of their songs. But seeing them live gives you a different, enhanced experience. My favourite – Rectifier – was immense. A brutal, angsty anthem that had everyone dancing (or po-going). But all the songs were performed with such verve that I felt like I knew them all, just like most of the people jumping around at the front seemed to. That’s the power of the small, sweaty club night.
Spring is definitely here. I hope that the good weather brings more music opportunities, and I also hope it brings me back to see Spring King again, maybe at a festival over the summer. Roll on the sunshine and bass lines.