Image: Olivia McDowall

The K’s live make for an incredibly fun night out

O2 Academy 2 Birmingham, 12 March 2023

It’s a rainy evening in central Birmingham. It’s cold and wet, and the streets are deserted. But inside the O2 Academy 2, something very special is about to happen. It’s warm inside and people are laughing and drinking, anticipating the show that is about to begin.

And after a while of listening to what is one of the best pre-show playlists I’ve come across in a while, The K’s come on. They look fairly unremarkable, and under any other circumstance, could easily be mistaken for anyone else in the crowd. But as soon as the four-piece band come on, there is an overwhelming cheer and chants of “ooh, ey, up The K’s” fill the 600-capacity venue. The show hasn’t even started and already the atmosphere is electric. And just as you think people couldn’t be more excited even if they tried, as soon as the band start playing the catchy opening riff from their song ‘Picture’ the crowd is a flurry of limbs and flying pints. It is a sight to behold, and a surefire sign the night is only going to get wilder from there.

He looks imposing and powerful

After the infectiously fun ‘Picture’, the band move on to ‘Got a Feeling’, and this is the moment where it becomes clear just how good singer Jamie Boyle’s voice is live. It is powerful and crisp, and commands your attention. And as he steps up onto the speakers at the front of the stage, he looks imposing and powerful. It’s almost as if he’s saying “We are The K’s. We’re good, and we know it, so you’d better watch our show!”. Paired with his charismatic smile, it makes for a magnetic combination.

It’s easy to see why The K’s are so popular

The band make their way through their set, and the more they play, the more it becomes apparent just how dedicated their fans are. Sure, people know the words to ‘Relying on You’ and ‘TV’, but they also sing along to ‘Chancer’, a song that has not even been released yet. The K’s may be up-and-coming, but they have a fanbase that would make a lot of larger artists jealous.

It’s easy to see why The K’s are so popular: they are simply very entertaining to watch live. At one point, Boyle and guitarist Dexter Baker kissed, and at another, Baker showed the crowd his bare backside when one drunk fan asked. The band care less about putting on a performance and more about just having fun on stage. The chemistry between them is unmistakable.

After ‘Chancer’, the band play ‘Glass Towns’, their latest single ‘Hoping Maybe’, and of course, the fan-favourite, ‘Hometown’. At this point, everyone in the crowd is dripping in sweat and people are grinning as wide as humanly possible. The band leave the stage. They haven’t played ‘Sarajevo’ yet, which is arguably their biggest song, so the crowd knows they have to come back on stage. The whole encore game may be slightly overdone, but it excites the crowd and bottles up enough emotion for there to be a roaring cheer when Boyle comes back on stage.

They only seem to be going up and show no signs of stopping

But instead of moving straight into ‘Sarajevo’, guitarist Ryan Breslin is quietly setting up a keyboard on stage. It may be an unassuming move, but avid fans know this can only mean one thing: they are about to play ‘Valley One’. It is a song they do not always play live, but it is a treat when they do. Boyle’s powerhouse vocals fill the room: “I’m wasting my time / You’ve already won”. The crowd, of course, sings along to every word, and it is at this point that the connection between the band and their devoted fans is the most obvious.

At this point, there are only two songs left. ‘Sarajevo’, of course, has to be played. It works incredibly well live, and at this point, almost the entire crowd is one giant moshpit. But instead of ending the show, they play ‘Dacton’. It’s a slightly odd way to end the show, but an additional song never goes unappreciated.
The K’s are at a point in their career where they only seem to be going up and show no signs of stopping. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them playing a venue three times the size in a few years. But for the moment, they make for a brilliant night out and give bragging rights to whoever will claim they knew them before they were famous.



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