This was one of the many wonderful gigs that celebrated this year’s Independent Venue Week. It was at the fabulous Fulford Arms, one of the best venues in York. Headliners were the much-hyped the K’s. Did they live up to the hype? You will need to continue reading to find out because first I need to tell you about the support band. Also, this was another show from Simon of Northern Radar and so far he has never let me down! Support was provided by a great upcoming local band, YouVee. I have only seen them once before this, back when they supported one of my favourite bands, Apollo Junction at another great York venue, the Victoria Vaults back in September 2021. YouVee have grown in presence and talent in those short few months, particularly Travis Kyle on lead vocals and guitar. He really owns the stage now and is developing into a great frontman. Given that this month, February, sees their second anniversary as a band their development is as remarkable as it is mercurial. Ben Layfield’s guitar skills are easily comparable with Graham Coxon of Blur and also Steve Mason of Gene (my favourite British band of the Brit Pop era). YouVee has a kind of psychedelic pop sound with some tasteful indie elements thrown in. If I had to pick a highlight it would be their signature tune, “Ultra Violet” which is begging to have a major dance remix, it is a proper full-on indie banger. This is a band for anyone who appreciates great music. I hope they go far!
So then it was time for headliners the K’s, an unsigned band who as I mentioned earlier have been subject to much hype and occasional comments about them being just a mod band. Well on the evidence of this set they deliver beyond the hype and they are far from just a mod band. There are influences from the best of British rock in their sound, notably the Who, the Jam (no these were not just mod bands either), and the Clash. They certainly know their pop, rock, and indie history too, throwing in a little piece of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” in one song and a bit of “Dirty Old Town” the Ewan MacColl standard made famous most recently by the Pogues. Jamie Boyle has a great stage presence, really knows how to work the crowd (and this was damned close to a full house), and is the epitome of what a superb frontman should be. There was not a dud song in the set and their energy never waned for even a moment. Lyrically there is a strong social conscience and stories of real life. “Dacton And Wanderella” is a song that early Arctic Monkeys would be proud of and they closed an electrifying set with it. The best moment for me, and there were plenty, was “Sarajevo”, an instant anthem, although “Glass Towns” possibly pushed it close. In the olden days, these lads would have been signed a long while ago and would be reaching the higher echelons of the charts on a regular basis. The K’s are a really tight band with great musical chemistry. They play with power, passion, and purpose. I hope there is a K’s album in the offing because it will be bloody brilliant. I am now most definitely a huge fan of the K’s, give them a listen and you will be too.
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