As the country melts down under pandemic panic faster than the Ross Ice Shelf then the packed masses who turned out at the Leadmill on a wet and cold Thursday night was testament to the growing support The K’s have rapidly and rightly established across the heartlands of the UK.
This Feeling’s stable of up and coming new musical talent never misses the mark and Chesterfield’s The Crooks were the show’s openers with a storming sound paying due deference to their musical roots with a belting big guitar, in-your-face sound. Attitude and aptitude in spades and in your ears, with a strong legacy of Brit pop at its best. Highlight of the Spireites lads’ set would have to be “Silhouette Sunshine” with Jacko’s vocals sparking up the Sheffield throng in anticipation of the night’s delights.
One of the best things about This Feeling has always been the two-fingers to convention, defiance of the norm. And why not put a solo crooner with an acoustic guitar in-between two bands powered by Michael Faraday’s finest discovery? It works because Andrew Cushin has the presence and talent to pull it off. From the heartlands of the North East, the Geordie twang in the between-songs-banter is replaced by a sweet, soul, sound. Ballads from the best lands and when the lyrics and crafted chords produce such refulgent melodies then there’s nothing better to do except stop, listen and be taken over by the music. “It’s Gonna Get Better” is gonna get played on repeat Andrew. Nice one marra.
Headlining, and where else would you expect to find them, are The K’s. Okay, cards-on-the-table time, I’m a fan. Any band who can pick me up after a night flight in from Nigeria and straight in to YNot last year and then send me home absolutely buzzin’ on a narco-high has to be something special. As vocalist Jamie, said in a pre-gig interview to Sheffield Uni, “What genre are we? I dunno, I just think we’re the best”. From the opening stanza of “Got a Feeling” that raises the roof of the packed Leadmill then you’d be hard pressed to argue with him. The tempo is set, the energy is manic, akin to some of the best of 70’s punk (yeah I was around then) and the music is a wall of power and mellifluous rhythms.
The set takes a lead with numbers like “BBC” and the newer tracks “Over My Head” and “Framed in Gold” before the blue touch-paper gets ignited with the crowd favourite “Glass Towns”. As the seething mosh pit take a frantic leap to the beat of what is an undeniably a belter, then you realise it’s not just the tune. There’s a formidable chemistry up there with Ryan Breslin’s chords allied to the drum/bass cadence of Jordan and Dexter all powered by front-man Jamie Boyles’ presence. You see it, you feel it, you hear it.
With a momentary dip down in pulse for the singalong “Hoping Maybe” then the gears get shifted into overdrive for set’s climax with the brilliant new single “Aurora” and the anarchic, frenzied, finale of “Sarajevo”. With an encore of “Dacton” then Jamie takes the obligatory salmon dive into the mosh, held aloft like the saviour of Sheffield, S1 and you can’t but feel that you’ve had your money’s worth of the finest night’s entertainment watching something special.
The K’s… get out and see them.
Social distancing and self-isolation? Fuck that. Get amongst the throng and enjoy.
WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: Bucko – BuckoPhotography
The Ks Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6DlKk9ibc9dCgvyNPGNXdH
The Crookes Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/04weGKj3nAChyEmS9RFF5y