Sports Team performs triumphant show in Bristol

The indie rockers proved once again why they are one of the UK’s most exciting bands

Last night, on a rainy Wednesday evening in Bristol, a packed O2 Academy bear witness to the spectacle that is Sports Team, the constantly energetic and downright infectious band, currently touring their sophomore album: Gulp!

Opening their set with “Here It Comes Again”, the Bristol crowd immediately equaled the band’s energy levels, forming mosh pits from the first chord. However, it was the following song, “The Game”, where any reservations from onlookers completely disappeared, and a united crowd of sweaty fans embraced the moment, chanting along “Oh yeah, that’s the game, life’s hard but I can’t complain”. Despite the song only being released recently, it has been a centerpiece of their setlist for over a year, ensuring that the entire room was singing along with every lyric.

After pressing on with typically upbeat songs: “Happy (God’s Own Country)”, “The Races” and “R Entertainment”, lead singer Alex Rice exclaimed his love for Bristol, a city which has always been a focal point of the bands touring schedule. From playing Thekla in 2017, to Fleece in 2021, and now multiple shows at the O2 Academy, no other city can emphasise the bands upward trajectory as well as Bristol.

Rice was met with loud cheers when he commented that bassist Oli Dewdney also attended the University of Bristol, before the band quickly continued with the fast-paced setlist, belting out fan favourites “Camel Crew” and “Going Soft”.

It’s safe to say there were no signs of sombreness or slowing down for both audience and band, as even the calmer tunes, “Cool it Kid” and “Light Industry”, still saw the crowd surging forward at every moment and opening circle pits.

Then, having left the stage for two songs, Rice returned, to play undoubtably the highlight of the night, the recent single “The Drop”. With an extremely catchy riff for everyone to sing along to, the feel-good spirit of the night, which was ever-present throughout the performance, peaked and it truly felt like an unforgettable moment.

Rice then states that the next song will be the final of the night, before mentioned the hilarity that bands say this, when everyone truly knows an encore is coming. He then burst into their breakout hit, “M5”, before the band departed the stage, leaving everyone desperate for more.

Several minutes later, giddy joy once again filled the room, with the band re-entering the stage and playing the opening notes to their biggest hit, “Here’s The Thing”. Any sign of faltering energy is immediately subdued, with the song going off like a firework and pure ecstasy filling the room. Following the playing of “Kutcher”, where Rice points the microphone to the crowd to have them sing “Ashton Kutcher’s got nothing on you!”, Sports Team ends on “Stanton”, a song from the band’s first ever EP. Rice epitomises his energy throughout the entire performance, getting down from the stage, into the crowd, and then allowing fans to pick him up so he can crowd surf back out of the pit.

Amidst the sweaty room, as the band left the stage, there is a certainty that Sports Team is destined for the bigger stages. All we can hope is that despite the band continuing to grow, they ensure to keep Bristol as a major staple on their tours.

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