Live Review: Sprints – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh 26.10.2021

Sneaky Petes is a gem in Edinburgh.  An independent music venue with capacity 100, and, on this particular Tuesday night at the end of October, Dublin’s Sprints are playing.  

First onstage is local band Volka in support.  Rock grunge with three guitarists, a drummer and singer this was a band clearly enjoying themselves.  Very impressive for third on the bill and with unconventional riffs, some great chat with the crowd and a rocking tempo they were the perfect warm-up and are definitely One to Watch.

Next up a band with more of a psych vibe.  Gentler guitar music with an eastern twang there was a gypsy-like element to this music. The mystical vocals spun over the top provided a wonderful sound and they received a great response from the crowd.  

And so to punksters Sprints.  Signed to Nice Swan records, with one EP released – ‘Manifesto’ and another on the way this 4-piece are making some waves, with Steve Lamacq on BBC 6Music premiered their current single ‘Modern Love’.  First point to note, guitarist Colm O’Reilly swopped his Girl Band tee-shirt for one of the support band Volka’s before going onstage – that’s class.

Karla Chubb fronts Sprints and is a whirlwind of energy and exuberance.  Standing on the drum kit, playing guitar in the crowd, singing from the mosh pit, it was all going off on in this set that flew by way too quickly.  Of course it’s all about the music, and boy oh boy Sprints are good.  Live is surely the true test of a band, and even though the performance was wild the songs sounded magnificent, with Karla egging the crowd on and the moshpit soon in full flow.

‘Kissing Practise’ is punk.  Pure and simple.  Fast and furious rattling along at a frantic pace.  Highlights were ‘The Cheek’, ‘Manifesto’ and ‘How Does The Story Go?’ which were all raucous, as they should be. Such confidence on stage to deliver with utterly wild abandon.  We were treated to two new songs and they retained the high standards we now expect from Sprints.  Guitarist Sam McCann and drummer Jack Callan join Karla and Colm in the band and they were grinning though most of the gig.  One final surprise, a blistering rendition of Wet Leg’s ‘Chaise Longue’ as an encore.  What an exhilarating end to the set.

Chatting to the band afterwards, this 3-week tour is the result of shuffling of dates due to the pandemic.  They are overjoyed to be finally back out on the road.  For us gig-goers we will be forever grateful that we can experience such nights as these again.

Just as a side note, a young female photographer messaged Sprints to see if she could take photos of the gig as she happened to be in Edinburgh.  The band agreed and she was in her element.  But her face when they started playing ‘Chaise Longue’ – again, pure class.

All images taken by, and courtesy of Julia Mason

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