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August 31 | 19:30£10.50
Sports Team came up on the back of word of mouth live hype, drawing round the block queues to chaotic early gigs at The Five Bells and Moth Club before releasing any music. Recording their first EP (Winter Nets) in a converted Timberyard in Hammersmith, the band have consistently set themselves apart from the acts they came up playing with, showing an intoxicating ambition, and their debut album Deep Down Happy, looks set to deliver on all bold claims, and confirm their place at the head of a group of young guitar acts.
Talking about the record charismatic frontman Alex Rice says: “I don’t think we were conscious of doing it but the album maps the journey of moving in together in Harlesden, moving back to home towns to sleep on floors for 18 months, then coming back to London, weighing up whether being in a band with your mates, being young in London is still the best thing in the world. I think it probably is.”
It’s a week of highs and hangovers for the now Camberwell-based 6-piece, releasing their new single ‘Here’s The Thing’ following an Annie Mac Hottest Record. In the official video Alex had to master the physical demands and complex moves of a cheerleader and trained with Mana Cheerleading squad – the best in the UK. ‘Here’s The Thing’ is the first Sports Team track to also feature guitarist and principal songwriter Rob Knaggs on vocals, with the two friends and protagonists forming an unruly, and utterly charming pairing.
It’s been an extraordinary year for Sports Team, who have built a large, fiercely loyal and fervent fanbase around their electric live shows and a string of incendiary releases. Selling out Electric Ballroom, to doing the same doing the same at Kentish Town Forum in December before even releasing an album. Latest single ‘The Races’ achieved A-list at BBC 6 Music, B List at Radio 1. They’ve been defined though by an increasingly cultish fanbase spawned from online community pages, making 1000s of memes, pieces of artwork and crucially turning up wherever Sports Team play – from the bands annual Margate trip (where many of the songs were written) to the living room of the group’s shared house, first in Harlesden, now Camberwell.
Sessions for Deep Down Happy have been snuck in between huge tours at various London studios, including Konk and Livingston, with long-time collaborator Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever) once again at the production desk. Having first worked together on the anthemic ‘Kutcher’ in 2018, the debut features Reid-produced singles ‘Here It Comes Again’, ‘The Races’ and ‘Fishing’ while also featuring a re-recording of early single and live favourite ‘Camel Crew’ – until now, only available on 2018’s Winter Nets.