Energetic and Extraordinary, Sports Team Excite a Sold-Out Joiners
Out of the current crop of up-and-coming bands tipped for big things this year, Sports Team are without a doubt one of the most promising. Back in Southampton after a support slot with Hinds late last year, they send The Joiners into a raucous frenzy.
First on are local band Minister. They’ve got to be one of the most promising bands on the South Coast at the moment, with their accomplished post-punk sound channeling Drenge, Fontaines DC and Shame in equal measure, with shades of The Clash. Next, they lead on to Glasgow five-piece Walt Disco, who bring a more new wave-esque vibe to proceedings. Impressive from the off, they have just the right amount of flamboyance.
The Main Event.
First of all, Sports Team, as ever, aren’t your typical guitar band. Frontman Alex Rice takes to the stage in an excessive hat, which ends up along the front row before too long. Having only recently dropped their latest EP Keep Walking!, they showcase a mixture of tracks from the new EP and those from the past couple of years.
For instance, ‘M5’, lead single from the EP, stands out even as part of such an impressive set. Likewise, ‘Margate’ impresses – one can only imagine the sort of reception it gets when actually played in the seaside town. Always a band to be idiosyncratic, Rice’s harmonica performance during the song certainly catches the eye.
Although they’re excellent throughout, it’s at the end that they truly shine. Fan-favourite ‘Kutcher’ gets the sort of reception that suggests Sports Team could be headlining bigger stages in the future, while the sprawling ‘Stanton’ ends up almost a jam session. There’s enough people on the stage to field a football team, as the six-piece are joined by a number of punters, members of Walt Disco amongst them. Finally, after finishing their set, Rice and guitarist Rob Knaggs remain on the stage for a rousing karaoke-esque rendition of Robbie Williams’ Mother’s Day compilation staple ‘Angels’.
It’s true that they haven’t dropped an album yet. But it’s easy to forget that. With ‘M5’, ‘Kutcher’, ‘Camel Crew’ and the rest of the tracks they’ve released so far, they’ve got enough for a genuinely enjoyable set. While the music press is often prone to overhyping British bands, these guys definitely deserve the plaudits.
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‘I’m a music and culture journalist currently based in the West Midlands. Always on the lookout for up-and-coming artists but my favourite bands include IDLES and Arctic Monkeys. Probably last seen at a gig.