Review and Photography by Robert Barrett
The last time we caught Sports Team was supporting Pale Waves in 2019. Since then, they have continued to make their own waves (pun intended), releasing two excellent albums and continuing to be a must-see act on the live circuit post pandemic. They brought latest album “GULP!” to the packed and cramped Institute 2nd room, for what was to be a sweaty energetic rock n roll show.
The room was already crowded by the time FAT DOG graced the stage. Maybe graced the stage is the wrong way of describing it as within one song they were already in the middle of the mosh pit. Frontman Joe looking like some skeezy cowboy priest serenading the crowd over scuzzy synths and fiery guitars. They have earned quite the reputation as a must-see live act in London, and it’s not hard to see why
Sports team had a tough act to follow, but within the first track managed to remind everyone why they are one of the hottest live acts around. Kicking off with “Landers” from 2020’s debut album “Deep Down Happy”. Alex Rice is an enigmatic frontman, strutting around the stage in an almost possessed state, the rest of the band back him up with an incendiary energy.
Sometimes with a band the focus on the new material is a detriment, but not here. With some of the strongest melodic hooks of their career found on “GULP!”, every song had the crowd going wild. Infectiously catchy single “The Game” was a real highlight and had the room singing along.
By the time the set ended with “Stanton” the mosh pit was in full swing. Two bands with incredible live acts had left their mark on the crowd. It will be exciting to see where it takes them both next.