My conversation with Earlstown’s The K’s begins in a characteristically hectic fashion. The phrase herding cats comes to mind as band members appear from all directions. Front-man Jamie comes to greet me in only his socks, before retreating to the dressing room to find some shoes. I almost manage to pin them all down to one spot when Jake Bugg appears, who is also playing the main stage that day. They all jump up for a quick photo opportunity before we can finally settle down to business.
The band are clearly still hyped from their explosive set, opening up the main stage for the day, and who wouldn’t be. For The K’s this is a huge achievement, progressing from the smallest stage at the festival to the biggest in the space of just two years. This is all made even more special by the fact this festival is almost in their own back yard. Judging by the swathes of fans which turned up early to greet them, this is a band which are sure to move higher and higher up the bill.
First of all, well done for getting here today, you didn’t quite make it out of the airport when you were supposed to play a festival in Sweden a few weeks ago.
Dexter – (All laugh) The press was better man, the press was better after that.
Ryan – Well, what happened is they looked at Dexter’s haircut and went “you ain’t coming in here”. No really – they looked at the exemptions to come in, but we had all the paperwork off both embassies, it was just one person that didn’t wanna let us in. They gave us the denial forms all in Swedish and we were like, ‘Can you translate it’ and they said no. Anyway 24 hours later, Sting rang the King and all that.
Ryan – So, Sting knows the King of Sweden and our agent manages Sting. We had a Royal Exemption letter but it took a few hours so we missed the festival and had to get the flight home. The press didn’t stop ringing us all day though and we got videos of the police going “Free the K’s”.
Jamie – We could see them all watching our videos on YouTube and that.
Jordan – We were signing set lists for them and they still wouldn’t let us go. We almost missed the next festival after it as well.
Ryan – Half of our gear that was that was in the hold of the plane didn’t come home with us. It got flown back after. So we were in Durham playing the mainstage at Hardwick Festival and it turned up about half an hour before stage. So, the Swedish Embassy is getting a massive fucking claim (laughing).
Jordan – How good is it gonna be when we go back though. When we were playing Hardwick Festival we were saying that after all the emotion of the last 24 hours, we’d just been battered, so in the last three songs we just threw it out there.
So, you’ve come from opening the smallest stage in 2019 to opening the main stage today, how did that feel?
Ryan – It was shit hot. I mean, the proof is in the crowd. The sea of K’s shirts and flares all that shit. Who has that right at the start of a festival.
Jamie – Tell you what it was hard work singing with them flares on though.
Jordan – We’ve been hammered on Twitter all week with people saying, cause we’re on first they might not be able to get in but it turned out alright.
I believe you were without a guitar tech today, and one of your dads filled in?
Ryan – Yeah we didn’t have Snaffer’s today so big shout out to him. Jamie’s dad filled in for him.
Dexter – Did you see his guitar catch?
Jamie – It nearly hit him in the head. (laughs) He can play guitar, but it’s one thing playing guitar and another thing tech’ing for me cause I just break everything.
Are you have ever shocked at how much you’ve progressed in the space of two years, when you take into consideration most of that time has been taken up by the pandemic.
Ryan – No, we buzz off it, we were right about to explode before it. We’ve turned the lockdown into a positive.
Jordan – I think we know it as well. Whenever we’re in that room or on stage, we know that we’re at our best ever.
You’ve also bagged yourself a slot supporting James how did that come about?
Jamie – So, we’ve just recently signed to Solo Music Agency booking agents who look after them as well. And one of the first things they wanted us to do, was go on tour with James.
Ryan – They also have Beyonce so I’m getting right in there (laughs).
That’s a big achievement for an unsigned band, do you not have record labels knocking on your door?
Ryan – As soon as someone says there’s five hundred grand I’ll think about it.
Dexter – 3 mil! It has to be right for us, the right label, the right contract, the right fucking conditions and terms.
Ryan – And this is our bass player talking, he’s very lawfully minded. he’s the sensible one yeah, he just learnt how to re-string his bass before.
Jordan – That’s the difference, we’re it’s not session musicians put together, we’re like fucking brothers.
What’s next for the K’s then? Are we going to be hearing any new music soon?
Dexter – We’ve got a single coming out soon, it’s called ‘Picture’ it was our opening track today. Then we’ve got the Isle of Wight Festival, where we’re on the main stage again. So ‘Picture’ is gonna be released around that time.
Ryan – Oh you can have this as an exclusive, we’re doing a Christmas show at Parr Hall in Warrington, that’s gonna be announced next week.
Now the hard work is over for you guys, are you going to stick around and watch any one today?
Dexter – Gang of Youths, Sam Fender and James all day and Jake Bugg as well we’ve just had a picture with him.
Ryan – It’s been good to get on first on as the underdogs, smash it, now we can just get fucked all day.
Catch The Ks at Isle of Wight Festival next weekend, on tour with This Feeling in October, supporting James at Scarborough Open Air Theatre tomorrow the 9th September! Any remaining tickets are available at Scarboroughopenairtheatre.com
All other dates including the Xmas show, info will be available via the bands socials below…
Featured photo – Paul Husband
Article photography – Rhona Murphy