We met Spring King for an afternoon drink in The Castle pub in Manchester’s Northern Quarter to discuss their glittering career to date including appearing on “Later… with Jools Holland” and their future plans. We found drummer and singer Tarek Musa, guitarists Pete Darlington and Andy Morton and bassist James Green in a back room midway through a pint each. From the warm welcome we received and their friendly and modest nature throughout the hour we spent together, you would not believe the lack of ego from a band who’s track was the first ever to be played on Apple’s new Beats1 radio station and who had been chatting to their new fan Elton John only days previously.
Tarek began by explaining how Spring King came into being. “I went to High School with Pete and basically I gave him a NOFX, on one side and an At The Drive-In cassette. And I was like listen to this mate it will blow your mind”. Pete confirmed this “It did literally blow his mind, at the time I was listening to AC/DC and Nirvana and a lot of big rock bands but At The Drive-In particularly just blew my head. I think we decided to start a band the following weekend.” Tarek then picks up the story “We were playing like school assemblies and shit. About two years later I started going to the local skate park, in my home town, and I met Andy. I was actually taking care of him because he was so pissed. I was like ‘Are you alright mate?’ and gave him loads of water. We started a band together (Tarek and Pete) and Andy didn’t play anything, so Pete was like ‘Can you play A? that’s all we need for this one song’.” Andy maintained that he still played F instead before Tarek continued. “Then we started Spring King and James got involved, we needed a bass player and we found him online…..on Tinder, no we found him on Facebook we had a mutual friend, his mutual friend put out a status for me saying we were looking for a bass player, James responded to that and yeah….happy family.”
The band are just beginning their first UK headline tour and James told us how it was going so far. “We are five shows in, we have been so pleasantly surprised by how people have responded. All the venues have been two thirds full to sold out. They have all been really receptive, and it’s completely bizarre because we have never been to any of these towns. Places like Preston and Bedford and Oxford. The place we played in Bedford, called Esquires, was an incredible venue, we have been so blessed.” The band also played Live At Leeds just before which meant a lot to James as he has been there many times as a punter. ” I nearly cried. I used to go all the time, I remember seeing loads of bands like Friends and Peace and bands like that at this venue and then we went on. It was completely mental, I’ve never seen anything like it…..probably one of the worst gigs I have played in a long time.”
Spring King have just ticked off something which must be a career goal of almost every band: playing “Later…With Jools Holland”. They were on the same bill as Bloc Party and Elton John so I wanted to know if that was the incredible experience I imagined it would be. Pete was still in shock “I still don’t quite believe we have done it, honestly. I haven’t really watched it properly, I have watched it once but I was kind of looking away, I don’t really like watching us play. It hasn’t settled in yet but it was definitely the most crazy thing I have ever done, I’ve never shat myself so much in my life. Three or four days before the anxiety of knowing it was coming was unbearable”. The set itself went really well for them but when James snapped a bass string in the sound check they feared it going horribly wrong. Andy’s anecdote evidenced how their humble nature wouldn’t allow them to accept the luxury on offer to them during the recording. “They gave us a really nice dressing room, with anything you could possibly want, but we just went and stood by the bins for an hour.” Tarek then told a story which backed this up. “The lady in make-up was putting some de-shiner on me for the cameras and she was like ‘So what is your stage shirt for tonight like?’ and I was like ‘Oh it’s this one’ and she was like ‘Oh!…….OK’. Then when we first met Elton he said something along the lines of ‘Well some of us have put some effort in haven’t we’. Then after we had played Elton ran over and was asking where he can get our record, so we went backstage and got him some vinyl and CD’s.”
Their debut album is out in just a couple of weeks and it is already much hyped, Pete told us what we can expect from “Tell Me If You Like To”. For me the last EP we did kind of sets the scene a little bit. So if you have heard that then it’s kinda like that. It’s our best songs ever basically, I feel pretty confident about the songs, my mum likes them so…. It’s the first time we have ever really put some slow songs out there really, because it just needed that, we didn’t want to just smash your face for forty minutes, we wanted some dynamics and to feel like there was a journey to be had with it.”
“Tell Me If You Like To” is released on the 10th of June and is available on iTunes and vinyl, Spring King are playing Band on the Wall in Manchester on the same date. You can also catch them at Reading and Leeds Festival and Dot to Dot.
You can listen to their latest single “The Summer” on their Soundcloud.
For all tour dates and release information check out the band website.