Updated: Mar 19, 2022
Our roving reporter Julia Mason catches Dublin's noisy chroniclers of modern life in YES
Dublin’s Sprints are a force of nature live. They began their UK tour in Manchester in support of new EP A Modern Job which is out on 11 March via Nice Swan Records. A sold-out basement at YES was treated to a raucous set, full of energy and fizz. Lead singer and guitarist Karla Chubb is the perfect frontperson, engaging with the crowd and firing up the energy in the room. The set opened with Drones, one of the singles from the debut EP Manifesto released in March 2021.
Sprints write brutally honest lyrics which are relatable to us all. They talk of our lives, of our insecurities, of our dreams and of our difficulties as we navigate life. This is all delivered with a punk aesthetic drenched in passion and power. Frantic and raw. We were treated to Swimming, Ashley and Manifesto also from the debut EP. The lyrics from Manifesto are full of empowering statements and to hear this live is exhilarating:
“I don’t need nobody to come and hold my hand, And I don’t need nobody to level out the land”.
But its the final line in Manifesto that sticks long in the memory:
“I’ll leave the lying, the meddling, the cock-ups to the state” Sprints are also not afraid to tell their personal stories. In Modern Job Karla sings:
“I wish I was bolder, I wish I was brave. I wish I didn’t count the days by the things I didn’t say”
The joy is in the simplicity of the language, yet still thought-provoking. Karla is joined in Sprints by Colm O’Reilly (guitar), Sam McCann (bass) and Jack Callan (drummer) and together they deliver a set which is wild and by the end of the gig the whole room is bouncing.
One intriguing point to note was that the set included Heavy - a new track which is neither a single nor on either of the EPs. Does this mean there is more new music already on the way? Let’s hope so!
Two unreleased songs from the new EP were also part of the set and will soon be firm favourites I’m sure. Delia Smith opens with the following line, and I just want to know more!
“My Mum always liked Delia Smith and I drank, drank, drank to deal with my shit”.
The second is my personal favourite - I’m In A Band. This rattles along at 200 miles an hour and Karla shares vocals with Sam, adding a slightly different dimension to the band's sound. Again the focus is on them being questioned about being in a band and if they are any good! The irony of hearing this as they play it at its furious pace is not lost.
The Cheek, current single Little Fix and How Does The Story Go? complete the set and by now Karla is moshing with the crowd, taking the shared experience to a new level. Those positive endorphins are powering around the room. As an encore, Natalie from Loose Articles came onstage and joined the band to giving a stomping rendition of Wet Leg’s Chaise Lounge.
I have to mention the excellent support by Manchester band DEAFDEAFDEAF. The 5-piece generated the right sort of noise to get the crowd fired up for the main event. Standout tracks include singles Odes and City Song. They have a headline gig at The Castle Hotel on 22 March 2022.
But the night belonged to Sprints who have quite rightly been all over the Ones To Watch lists for 2022. They generated a sweaty basement at YES on this February Thursday night. With festival slots and even a trip to Texas for SXSW lined up, there are plenty of opportunities to see them live and you really should. Highly highly recommended.
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