When you think of the words ‘Camden’ and ‘gig venue’, what normally comes to mind is a dingy room that hasn’t been cleaned for years, with a floor you get stuck to and hardly space to breathe. So it was to my great amazement that I walked into Koko to find a vast, three tiered venue adorned by beautiful red decor and a giant disco ball on the ceiling.
Support act Get Inuit sparked excitement in some members the crowd who kicked off the first mosh pit of the night. I was quite taken with the lead singer’s funky moves and they had great banter with the crowd which is always nice to see, especially in a support act. I’ve been really getting into these guys, especially after seeing them live a couple of times, and I’m looking forward to hearing what they do next.
We next decided to take some time to explore the venue. What was so nice about Koko was that you were pretty much free to roam wherever you liked – be that to the nice balcony outside (which was technically a smoking area but it gave you a nice view of Camden High Street so I won’t complain) or up to one of the venue’s bars. After enjoying a couple of drinks whilst watching second support Kagoule, it was time to head back down to the floor for Spring King.
Kicking off by telling everyone to make a circle pit, Spring King launched into their first track of the night, Better Man. Sweaty bodies launched themselves around in a scene of organised mayhem, and crowd surfers flew across the room. The security guard at the front seemed to actually be smiling at this – not what you’d usually expect from the people who are often paid to stop our fun – but I guess that’s just another thing that made Koko special.
I definitely think Spring King are one of the best live bands around at the moment – the fact that lead singer Tarek Musa plays the drums makes it fascinating to watch as you wonder how on earth he is singing in tune, remembering how to play drums, and also staying alive. The set was well structured, bringing in slower songs at just the right time in order to let everyone recover a little. Ending on Rectifier sent everyone into a frenzy one last time – this song was made to be screamed at full volume in a room full of people who just want to dance and jump around.
Ending the night with the purchase of a funky tour poster and a limited edition tour t-shirt (which I have hardly stopped wearing since), I felt sure that Koko was a place I would return to, and Spring King are a band I need to see again and again.