Sports Team review: more like a standard 1-0 than a six-goal thriller
PUBLISHED: 13:13 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:40 22 November 2019
At the start of the year, Sports Team were tipped as ‘ones to watch’ by nearly every music magazine in the country, unfortunately Monday night’s visit to Norwich Arts Centre didn’t quite live up to the hype.
Sports Team gave a performance that was more like a standard 1-0 than a six-goal thriller.
The band has clearly built up a passionate and dedicated fan base (almost everyone in tonight's audience looks like they could be in the band), but the music comes across as a little formulaic and sometimes disjointed.
Frontman Alex Rice's performance is one of the evening's highlights, his Jaggeresque pouting, clapping and lunging makes him the centre of attention, conducting singalongs and dictating the crowd reaction.
At one point he asks the crowd "am I being a bit too theatrical?", someone jokingly reply "yes", but his cheeky chatter with the audience ensures his antics don't sway into the realms of pretension.
His voice sounds like all of your favourite mid-noughties indie singers and some songs have the 'beers in the air' singalong choruses to back it up.
However, whilst this makes for a great live atmosphere, the group's sound is nothing new and this becomes more noticeable as the set goes on and songs seem to merge into one another getting forgotten in the process.
There are gems of real quality in there, 'Races', 'Kutcher' and 'Fishing' get the crowd pogoing and chanting along, but these moments stand out against a beige backdrop of indie-by-numbers style tracks.
Another highlight is the energetic drumming of Al Greenwood which whips up a frenzy in the crowd, keeping them jumping throughout the night.
Standing to her left, keyboard player Ben Mack does very little to whip anything up, in fact he does very little at all. I think it was supposed to be an indie Ron Mael impression but his joyless expressions just come across as forced.
Perhaps the most cringeworthy moment of the evening comes when the band's A&R man is hauled up on stage to beg people to preorder the group's new album in order to get it to number one, I get the idea, but it comes across as a bit desperate.
All in all, the band probably has enough radio-friendly tunes to go on to be quite big (they're already being played on Radio 1), but I just felt like I'd seen hundreds of other groups doing exactly the same thing.