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Live / stage review

Sports Team

Sports Team leave an ecstatic Leadmill crowd wanting more, following a set packed with energy and leather.

31 August 2021,

On Tuesday, an empty Leadmill slowly filled with the chit-chat of excited fans who lined the barriers in front of the stage waiting for Sports Team. Gigs at the moment still seem to come with that extra bit of post-pandemic buzz, which was only added to by the Cambridge band’s dedicated fanbase.

This excitement built as the crowd grew thicker and the lights started to dim. There was a brief silence, and the man next to me asked his date why the fat guy was making such extensive notes on his phone. I looked up from my phone for said fat guy and didn’t find him – it hit me – but before I had time to be sad my mind was filled with just one thought: “Is that a leather suit?”

It was, donned by singer Alex Rice, who bounced onto the stage with dance moves that can only be described as Shakira having a seizure. This carried on for three tracks before he spoke his first words to the crowd: “It’s dead good this, innit?”

His presence made up for the fact that the rest of the band had the stage personas of a bunch of DFS sofas. Keyboardist Ben Mack was so still that for a moment I genuinely thought the band had gone full-blown Memorial Device and brought a mannequin on stage with them. That didn’t affect the music or the crowd though.

The gig was jam packed with energy from start to finish, as Sports Team brought with them heavy guitars, catchy choruses and loud vocals. The latter weren’t pitch perfect but for this kind of music they don’t need to be, so long as the tune is carried.

The performance came with a very full sound that didn’t leave anyone in the crowd not nodding their head, and the band seemed to enjoy themselves just as much. Those sofas had beaming grins the entire time. A gig that was hard to find fault with. There’s really no other way to describe it than, as Rice said himself, dead good.

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