Last Saturday night, Earlestown four-piece The K’s played a sold-out Manchester Ritz to a crowd of over 1.5k adoring fans. Singer Jamie Boyle, guitarist Ryan Breslin, bassist Dexter Baker and drummer Jordan Holden delighted fans with their melodic indie rock and rip-roaring stage presence. It’s clear from this gig that The K’s have got their eyes on a long, successful career, and have shown with this landmark gig that this is precisely how they mean to go on.
2019 was undoubtedly a real breakthrough year for the band who signed to Alan McGee’s label Creation23 last summer. They’ve not let a second slip by as they’ve charged straight in 2020 as one of This Feeling’s headline #bigin2020 bands and are now about to head off on a headline tour in March hitting Bristol, Nottingham, Sheffield, Glasgow and Liverpool before a embarking on numerous festival slots including headlining the recently announced This Feeling #Rewired festivals, a mainstage Kendal Calling slot and their biggest headline to date, Manchester Academy in October.
Speaking to them backstage before the gig I asked the lads how the nerves were going onto a stage to play to their biggest crowd to date…
‘Well, I’ve not been nervous since fucking 95 me’ laughs lead singer Jamie Boyle ‘We’re all up for it!‘ shouted Ryan as the whole band laughed and cheered in agreement.
Spirits are understandably through the roof as Joko (Dexter, The K’s own mash up of a bassist, John Lennon and Yoko Ono) wanders in the dressing room with an iron which he’s using as a telephone to tell people…
‘NO, you can’t get on the fucking guestlist!!!’
Everyone erupts into laughter, honestly there is never a dull moment when The K’s are around and this is what adds to their already magnetic appeal. Not only are they gifted with an insane amount of musical talent, but their personalities are certain to drive them further and further up the ladder. They say it as it is, which is something I personally feel has gotten lost in the industry, they are a true working class rock ‘n’ roll band.
With things gathering momentum at a quick pace, I asked when the lads if there was a point where they thought, shit this is starting to get a bit mental?
‘Well, Academy 2 was a big indicator that things were getting bigger, as was Kendal’ Jamie explained… ‘We were on quite a big stage at Kendal and honestly, you couldn’t have fit another person in that tent it was fucking brilliant. You know those festivals are the first gigs we haven’t had of our own and people have proper gone mad for it’
I’ve been lucky enough to watch The K’s on numerous occasions, the last time been down at Nambucca in London where they headlined the #bigin2020 This Feeling show, with a late set time that night I asked Jamie if he enjoyed the show?
‘We had a blast down at Nambucca but it’s one of those when you’re on late, beers get flowing and you can end up fucking leathered’ Dexter added… ‘When we’re on late we tend to struggle a bit’ Jamie hollers back… ‘No you fucking do! (laughing) Jordan tells me… ‘We had a show in Belgrade and Dexter started drinking about half four in the afternoon and stage time was like two in the morning and he literally offered us all out for a scrap on stage. ‘LET’S AV A FUCKING FIGHT!’ he’s going!’ The whole rooms in stitches as Jamie shouts… ‘It’d been good though add a bit more entertainment!’
I was inclined to agree, whilst I’d obviously never condone any sort of violence but some of the most iconic gigs in history have resulted in a big scrap! With the next part of The K’s journey been the This Feeling tour, I wondered where they were most looking forward to playing? Jamie was straight on this…
‘GLASGOW! We’re really looking forward to it! We’ve never played Scotland and it’s got this mad reputation. I grew up following The View, well, me and Dec did and watching all their legendary gigs like Barrowlands and stuff like that. Scottish crowds just look well up for it, there were a few Scots at Kendal and Neighbourhood’.
I personally can see The K’s playing up there a lot more in the future, the Scotts will definitely love them! On the approaching tour, the band are playing some great venues and with this week been Independent Venue Week, I asked how they thought independent venues had helped their journey… Dexter said…
‘Because it brings fucking good working class bands out, you’ve either got to be a band with a rich Daddy who’s fucking shit and pays on all the gigs or a band with no money who’s brilliant and gets supported by all these independent venues ‘
Jamie added not holding back any punches…
‘Yeah, there’s just no middle ground, if your skint you have to start off real small, graft and get the help from these venues or get your fucking Dad to buy you on a big tour. As all these soft pop pricks do. Without these venues, lads like us and loads of other bands wouldn’t get a chance. We’ve had some great support from Jimmy’s were mint, Gorilla, Academy and Nambucca in London is a good one you know. Don’t forget the Sunbeam Hotel, Bar & Grill either! EARLESTOWN MASSIVE’
The whole rooms in stitches again, infact the whole of the interview it has been. This is one thing I love about The K’s, it feels real, there’s no pretences here, it feels just how rock ‘n’ roll should do. A bunch of working class lads having the time of their life, I feel privelidged to have been a part of a night that will for sure go down in their history! With the next BIG performance in October at Manchester Academy which was announced only days after the Ritz, I asked Jamie why people should grab a ticket…
‘Because if not your gonna be like in five years time, I remember them when they were playing all these small venues and we’ll be like fuck off ya dickhead we told ya to come and offered ya a ticket and ya said you didn’t wanna come so fuck off! Dexter shouts over… ‘Don’t be messaging us you c#%t’s two days before the fucking sold out gig!’
Again, more and more laughter! Things are LOUD! The K’s most recent single Aurora was released last year on Creation23 and of course fans are eager to hear more new music, I asked Jamie when fans could look forward to the next release and when it came to writing how did the lads put a song together…
‘There’s a release plan for this year, but its crossing the t’s and dotting the lower case j’s. When it comes to writing, someone writes a tune then we have an argument haha no I’m only kidding, whoever’s wrote it plays and then everyone joins in. We like take a skeleton in then we all add bits in. Dexter explains… ‘One of us will put together the basic chords and the melody then we’ll all sit for hours and add layers to it. Its usually one of us who gets the lyrics and the chords then we add well I add the music’ Jordan laughs… ‘Yeah, basically we’ll have a decent song then Dexter will fuck it up!’
One thing the band clearly are doing is working hard and its winning them the adoration of many young and old music lovers. The sky is certainly the limit for this set of lads and I can’t wait to continue following their journey.
The K’s next play 1st February in Bristol before hitting Nottingham, Glasgow, Sheffield and Liverpool. All dates and remaining tickets at: www.thisfeeling.co.uk Manchester Academy tickets are available here: https://www.gigsandtours.com/event/the-k-s/manchester-academy/1485877
ALL PHOTOGRAPHY: DESH KAPUR