Live Music

LIVE: The K’s – O2 Ritz, Manchester

Around 12 months ago, Earlestown band The K’s really announced themselves to the Manchester music scene with a sold out show at Academy 2. The 950 capacity venue was the perfect end to that chapter of the bands 18 month journey, and since then, the four-piece have grown leaps and bounds, culminating in a 1500 capacity sell-out last weekend at the O2 Ritz. 2019 was huge for Jamie Boyle, Ryan Breslin, Dexter Baker and Jordan Holden and this show confirmed firmly, that 2020 and the whole decade, could belong to them.

Arriving late, we unfotunately missed the hotly tipped SYFTA, but judging by the crowd when we arrived, they had warmed them up well. A band we need to catch ASAP! Main support on the evening though was the brilliant Narrow Margin, hailing from nearby Hyde. A couple of H2N writers have been banging on about the five-piece for some time and it was clear very quickly, how right they were.

Looking the part, the five lads came out with assured confidence, knowing they were ready to take on the Ritz and become everyone in the room’s new favourite band. With only 2 tracks released, they’d have been forgiven if they were a little nervous, or expecting little from the gig, but they came out knowing people were there to see them. Oxford Street and latest release Kid’s Don’t Dance were sung back to lead singer Ian Spiller and co, and they looked like they enjoyed the performance. They had a strong mix of everything Manchester stands for, but pull in post-indie vibes from Libertines and punk sounds from The Clash era. It was unique, exciting and the perfect opening for The K’s.

It was time, time for the four lads from Earlestown to take to the stage and give 1500 people what they’ve been waiting for for months since the show sold in just four weeks. They were categorically, on fire for the entire set, echoed by the crowd’s chants of exactly that. Every single track was a riotous success, from released anthems Glass Towns, Got A Feeling and Sarajevo to the newer tracks that much of the crowd already seemed to know from previous live shows.

Everything went how the guys would have hoped. Bar one concerning moment when a member of the crowd was escorted, it was a seamless evening and the most refreshing part, was that despite this being The K’s biggest show to date, they just enjoyed themselves and looked so relaxed. Without sounding too cliched, The K’s are the most complete artist I’ve seen without putting out a body of work. No EP, no record, just four incredible singles and this is what they have achieved; it really is nothing short of impressive.

Aurora brings down the house. I haven’t seen an indie band create such a soundscape since the early intimate Catfish and the Bottlemen gigs. Johnny Bond is the master of riffs and causing carnage in crowds, but he has some serious competition from Ryan Breslin who destroyed it on stage at the Ritz. If Aurora is a sign of things to come in 2020 for The K’s, it is going to be a very very exciting year.

Along with The Lathums, The Snuts and Red Rum Club, The K’s are helping to lead a charge in guitar music, and their affirming O2 Ritz gig was exceptional. The four-piece commanded the stage all night and they’ve come a long way from their early gigs at Jimmy’s. In 2019 I saw them perform to 25 people in Newcastle and 2020 has started for them playing to 1500; both gigs were real “I was there” moments and I feel like this was the start of something huge for The K’s.

Adam Graver

Cover Photo Credit: Jake Kelly®

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