Think? Tank is unassuming from the outside, the only signs of a gig on tonight being the two friendly bouncers and a gaggle of giggling girls. Though once you're in the little venue and up the stairs, the sound hits you like a brick.
Magnified by the low ceiling, almost-room-high speakers frame the stage. Plastered across every wall (and the ceiling, the decorators evidently having run out of space) are black and white cut-outs of everything imaginable, from age-old adverts for "space dust" to film posters of what looked like Mrs Doubtfire, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gremlins and Parental Advisory stickers. It’s an eclectic mix that could be observed for ages in the break between artists switching over, and contrasts starkly with the plain scrubbed floor and almost building-site open door frames.
Opener Calva Louise came bursting onto the stage with tons of enthusiasm, and even more so with some rather frenzied dancing from a group of young girls at the back of the room. They happily owned the stage with their rocky sound - I preferred their slightly mellower song halfway through the set, but overall a great start.
The crowd seemed a little nonplussed by it all. Or perhaps it was just me.
Following were Weirds, the second warm-up of the night. A four-piece from Leeds, Weirds definitely live up to their name. Reverberating guitars and vocals give this band a piercing intensity, especially backed up by lead singer Aidan Razzal's glares and vague audience wanderings. The crowd seemed a little nonplussed by it all. Or perhaps that was just me.
Spring King were eager to follow, bouncing onto stage amidst screams from the aforementioned girls, who had been joined by a group of hyped-up boys, and promptly dissolved into a mess of churning bodies the minute Spring King launched into their first song, ‘Detroit’. The energy was huge, the band enthused by the wild dancing at the front (the bouncers less so, when multiple stage invasions occurred). Bassist James Green snapped a string on the first song, and then a second later during one of their new tracks, ‘Animal’.
The band played a huge range of music, with loads of new songs and crowd favourites like ‘City’ and ‘Who Are You?’ At bequest of drummer Tarek Musa, there was a rousing ‘Happy Birthday’ for the sound editor Greg, then back into the big guitar-heavy tunes.
‘They’re Coming After You’ began a little different, without the big drum beats behind the slow vocals, calming the crowd for a while - until the big chorus at the end, where the madness continued and Guitarist Pete Darlington lost his mic cord for a bit in the scrum of dancing bodies. Closing with ‘Rectifier’, wild fans reached for the proffered set lists and pushed towards the merchandise table for tour t-shirts and CDs, clamouring for more of an obviously much-loved band.