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THE K'S LIVE IN MANCHESTER

THE K’S LIVE IN MANCHESTER – WHAT HAPPENED?

I’ve no idea how many gigs The K’s have done so far this year but this one, the second of a short,
four night winter tour feels like its gig number seven hundred and thirty six. There’s no doubt The
K’s would be in contention for the hardest working band of the year award if it wasn’t so obvious
that this isn’t work to The K’s, this is what they live for….every single moment on stage.

And what moments…. A K’s gig is a barrage, a wonderful, immersive, full on assault delivering non
stop twenty something angst…. songs of a violent northern backwater life, of coked up race days,
self indulgent one night stands, bankrupting yourself for the latest M Series. It’s avoiding that kicking whilst you’re waiting for your cab home after a night out in Warrington (insert your own town of choice), it’s about being in love, or not being in love, or not being sure if it’s love…..it’s all there, all in wonderful, anthemic three minute riff laden bangers!

Last nights capacity crowd at Manchester Academy knew this was going to be a gig full of those
moments. This was the bands biggest headline show to date, selling out in hours, and from the
moment the boys strode onto the stage the crowd was having it, the band was having it… no
quarter was going to be given. Before even the first note was played Jamie Boyle launches himself
onto a monitor sending it flying into the pit.

Photographers and film crew leg it for shelter as the boys kick straight into ‘Picture’… it’s massive, it’s loud, it’s really loud, The K’s are loud… The K’s are really, really, really fucking loud!
‘Got a Feeling’, new single ‘Heart On My Sleeve’,’TV’ ‘Chancer’, ‘Landmines’,’Glass Towns’…
they’re all here, it’s riff after riff, anthem after anthem. It’s chaos, Jamie and Ryan throwing
themselves towards the crowd.

Dexters bass punching every stomach in the Academy, Nathan keeping it all rock solid and tight at the back. There’s pints flying, shirts ripping, piggybacks collapsing….nowhere’s safe…not in the crowd, not on the stage, not in the pit… nowhere, it’s carnage and it’s fucking magnificent!

It can’t stay like this for ever though and ‘Hoping Maybe’ provides some brief respite, Jamie leads
the crowd whilst Ryan and Dexter, arms aloft conduct for a short while but it’s all too brief a change
in tempo. Jamie introduces a track from the boys forthcoming debut album and they rip into
‘Throwing It All Away’, its sound clearly signals The K’s more than justified stadium rock ambition.

That’s the only new album track tonight, this is more like a greatest hits show as we’re into yet
another crowd pleaser ‘Aurora’. This is the K’s the crowd know and love. ‘Valley One’ is another beautiful moment. Ryan on the keys and Jamie once again leading the Academy crowd, no guitar for Jamie with this one, it’s pure emotion tonight. Jamie Boyle sings from the soul and tonights rendition of ‘Valley One’ is just something else.

A few minutes later it’s all dark, it’s quiet… no song, no light, no Dexter Baker playfully teasing the crowd with his ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ bass riff….. nothing, it’s silent all but for the growing restlessness of the crowd.

A single spotlight illuminates the stage as a lone figure steps forward. There’s jeering in the crowd, a bit of booing even.This gig was having it and the crowd want to know what’s happened? What’s going on? Why’s the gig stopped? There’s a little bit more light now as the figure lifts a single sheet of paper and starts to read.

It’s Tony Walsh, Poet Mancuniate. The crowd is unhappy, they want The K’s but Tony reads on, the jeering and booing fades as Tony preaches of Manchester, its people, its bands, its attitude, its rock’n’roll.. how Manchester changed the world, how Manchester is the world and how its bands mean everything…he’s turned the crowd, he’s got them and before anyone notices the boys are back.

Jamie is clearly delighted as he leads the applause for Tony and Ryan says thank you in his own
way, with one almighty motherfucking riff. It’s the riff that’s becoming the riff of rights for every 16
year old wannabe guitar god in the land, or maybe that’s just in my house? Either way it’s
‘Hometown’ and the crowds delight is clear as it all goes off again. ‘Hometown’ is a massive tune
and the crowd love it. Every single word resonates around the Academy…‘in the sun…in the sun’
and ‘put ‘em on… put ‘em on’….the crowd as deafening as the band.

Into ‘Sarajevo’ and that’s it… it’s over… everyone gave everything…the band’s knackered, the
crowd’s knackered, it’s been wonderful, it’s been emotional. We all know this is it. The K’s tonight
were an incredible, supercharged version of the band we all fell in love with… this is the global
version of The K’s, a wonderful supercharged global version of The K’s……The best fucking band
in the world.

Support last night came from Manchesters The Guest List. Released late last year, their self titled
debut EP was an all too brief delight with its laid back jangly pop of a quality that is becoming
increasingly rare these days. It’s a genre that gets a lot of bad press, and rightly so, but The Guest
List prove that every once in a while a band comes along that can do it perfectly and make it
something superb, it was great to see the young five piece can deliver live, not just in the studio.

The K’s short winter tour continues next week at Coventry HMV Empire on Wednesday the 29th
and Bristols Marble Factory next Friday the 1st December.

Further dates have been announced for April next year to follow the March release of debut album
‘I Wonder If The World Knows’ The Guest List play Manchesters The Deaf Institute on the 15th December.

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