The K’s

Leeds Beckett University Student’s Union // Friday 24th March 2023

Hoping Maybe” – a MoshMag review by Len Bulb

Sick of hearing the Manc lads down MoshMag HQ raving about The K’s I took great delight in noting that the band hadn’t booked a Manchester venue on their current tour. It was only a matter of time before Mosh-phone rang and yours truly was pressed into action. Well either that or they’d follow the Pet Shop Boys advise and gone west to Liverpool. (Coincidentally, the evening was opened by an excellent scouse band The Karios. They’ve got a big gig at Hanger 34 in Liverpool coming up in May, tell ’em Len sent you.)

And so it came to pass. With one of the finest music photographers known to man hot footing it over the Pennines, up stepped I, Len Bulb, MoshMag’s newest correspondent to bring you all the action.

Now, turning our attention t’Ks. Generally speaking a gig that ends with the band apologising isn’t usually considered a roaring success. However, The K’s aren’t your usual band. Bursting on stage, beers in hand, the band soaked every last drop of the applause, a set of lads clearly comfortable enjoying the trappings of their ever growing success.

Good things come to those who wait and with the audience’s cheers well and truly ringing in theirs we kicked off with 2021 release…, we were hoping to have a picture of Ryan cheersing the crowd with his now customary pint of Guinness, sadly we missed it this time, we’ll have it for you next time though 😉 we promise.

Up went the lights, up went the crowd and up went lead guitarist Ryan Breslin, ending the song atop of the speakers. Breslin has been praised in these pages before, for we at MoshMag love a man who looks the part. You wouldn’t think it was possible to look more rock n roll than Breslin does, later in the show however, fallacy would be shown up.

In the meantime, and having seen off the first song, our crowd thought it a suitable moment to remind the band what county they were in. “Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire”. The K’s , hailing from Cheshire didn’t seem to mind too much, they were too preoccupied with a stubborn problem.

“We’re having some technical difficulties” lead vocalist Jamie Boyle informed the crowd. “Now would be a good time to play one of them two tunes you know” he added, gesturing to bassist Dexter Baker, and prompting an unscheduled cover of I Wanna Be Adored.

From my vantage point it seemed the issue stemmed from the ear pieces (I could have asked the sound tech but frankly, I couldn’t be arsed) and so it was back to basics. “Right Leeds, we’re officially fucked. But we’ve been playing long enough haven’t we” and so we pressed on ear pieces discarded. As Got a Feeling closed, the lads never missing a beat the appreciative crowd serenaded them with a chant of “The K’s are on fire”. Maybe an explanation? As the flames rose, had their hearing aids started to melt?

Relying On You and the upbeat TV followed, the lights coming right down for the former, before new single Chancer made an appearance. Slightly more commercial than perhaps some of The K’s other work, Chancer and Hoping Maybe, the bands two most recent singles seem like solid choices. Here at MoshMag we’ll be hoping (not maybe, we actually will) that the decision works out for them and they find some rich deserved chart success to match the success of their live shows.

From the brand new to an old classic, “right Leeds we’re going old school”, Glass Towns with a little Local Hero twist. For those that don’t know, Boyle is a big Newcastle United fan and Local Hero is the song that the Newcastle team walk out to. The little cameos didn’t end there however. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun prefaced Hoping Maybe, a song that closed with the crowd being informed it was Breslin’s birthday and the customary birthday wishes. Later in the set Breslin was furnished with a shiny new double necked guitar (isn’t it nice when you get something for your birthday you can use for work?) taking his previous un-toppable rock n roll…er…liness all the way up to eleven*. It WAS possible after all!

*I reserve the right to make that Spinal Tap reference if a band uses a double necked guitar.

Hometown, a riotous crescendo of a song sparked the crowd back into life. Boyle, still seemingly struggling with the technical difficulties prefacing the chaos with a plea to “forget all that shit and put it behind us”. The thing is, whilst it may have been a battle for the band, this reporter and everyone else shoehorned into the venue were having a ball. If The K’s are this good on a bad night, then surely its only a matter of time before we see them hitting the big time.

Speaking of stardom, Aurora closed the set proper. A song title as fun to listen to as it is to say. Aurora, Au-ROR-ra. Try it, really roll those “r’s”, its fun!

Encore time and as the opening strains of Valley One started up the assembled couples limbered up for a bit of gig gymnastics. It was actually quite impressive how many girls found shoulders to sit on, like watching a bizarre game of the floor is lava. Though whilst not ideal for seeing the stage, I find it hard to get too annoyed about that kind of thing, girls just wanna have fun.

They were soon back on terrafirma anyway, you can’t have shoulder shenanigans whilst everyone’s favourite historically accurate song about an assassination is going off, you’d find yourself getting Hert-zigovina? No? Fair enough I’ll just get mil-hat and miljacka.

Annnnnnyway, before I crowbarred in that joke, the crowd had been treated to the traditional special “K’s” rendition of Dirty Old Town. “Its been no fucking secret that we’ve had a lot of fuck ups tonight”, that’s true to be fair, but only because they kept pointing them out, the band had been excellent throughout.

Closing on Dacton, but not before offering more absolutely unnecessary apologies. “Who’s seen us before? Who’ll see us again?” asked Boyle. I will absolutely be seeing them again and you absolutely should too. The K’s, a band so good you’ll absolutely love their gigs, even when they don’t love it themselves.

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