Current rock darlings SPRINTS are touring the release of their critically acclaimed debut album “Letter to Self” and tonight they’re at the legendary King Tut’s.

In support are Venus Grrrls, a goth incarnation of Riot Grrrl from Leeds. Lead singer Grace Kelly has a powerful voice and the comparison to the long list of metal bands with strong vocals comes to mind but Venus Grrrls never really cross the line into metal and seem to be carving out a distinct Goth Grunge genre with witchey-themed songs and a punk sound. The band is coming back to Glasgow in September to play the Garage and is well worth checking out.

It feels like this year is going to belong to SPRINTS, following the January release of their acclaimed debut album they are currently mid-way through their sold-out tour, they will be returning to Glasgow for TRNSMT in July, have a support slot for IDLES and already have a headline tour including the large capacity O2 Kentish Town Forum. 

The Dubliners wait for the whole track of “Murder on the Dancefloor” to come on stage dancing before kicking off ferociously with “Ticking”, from the first chord this sounds like a huge band in every sense, the reverb from the bass knocks beers off the shelves, the band is thrashing about the stage and god help anyone not wearing ear plugs. 

“Letter to Self” has only been released 3 months but the crowd is already singing and jumping along like it is an age-old classic, not easily satisfied SPRINTS keep asking for more from the crowd “Come on Scotland, We are from Ireland, we are supposed to be the same”. For a young band singing about mental health and flying a Palestine flag, they have drawn a surprisingly aged crowd who are doing their best for a Sunday night but there is a lingering feeling that SPRINTS are used to a more raucous crowd these days.

To give the crowd a bit of a rest the band turned to a few slower songs or “slower than ragefully fast” as lead singer Karla Chubb puts it. “Shaking Their Hands” is played before moving on to “Shadow of a Doubt” which gets about halfway through before we are back into an overwhelming crescendo of noise.

The band’s requests for more from the audience continue but this isn’t going to turn into a Royal Blood moment, Karla doubles the efforts to get the crowd involved, and “Up and Comer” turns into a full-on singalong. “We are not going to play an encore since it makes us feel pretentious and wanky” exclaims Karla as she discusses how surreal it feels that they have been growing from a little garage band in Dublin to touring the US. 

The gig ends with typically furious “Little Fix”, Eliza Lee from Venus Grrrrls takes over guitar duties from Karla who takes the mosh pit into her own hands and climbs across to the middle of the crowd to get everyone moving. The show ends with the air of excitement that you get from a band who are putting on some of the best shows and releasing some of the best music around now and are starting to see it all be recognised.

Words and pictures: Dale Harvey @daleharvey