In the years following the crazy indie-fuelled teenage dream wasteland a lot of us spent our youth a part of, there has never been an artist, for me personally, that came close to the experience or emotions of a sweat inducing, packed out Academy gig, watching the band that you would give your all to while your friends drank alcohol one of them stole from their parents out of water bottles outside. (You know the type, refill their vodka bottles with water so they never know? They always knew.) Watching a Larkins live show changed that for me, almost instantly.
Coming back to their home city for a run of shows at Manchester Academy 2 & 3, it is easy to see why Larkins are on their way to becoming hometown heroes, if they aren't already. With fans sat outside the venue from early morning onwards, forming a queue that wraps right around the beloved Academy, I could tell something special was about to happen that night.
Opening their set with the 2020 hit and personal favourite, Are We Having Any Fun Yet? the crowd was met instantly with the bands beautiful neon light show, which for a gig in the Academy, was a welcomed surprise. The crowd's voices echoed throughout the room as lead singer Josh encouraged them to sing "YOU'LL BE ALRIGHT!" A lyric I know would have definitely hit me hard as a teenager and one that was shouted so loud by the fans, it stopped me in my tracks momentarily. It is clear to see how much love the fans have for Larkins, what is genuinely heartwarming to also witness, is the love that Larkins have for their fans.
The moment the band start playing fan favourite Sugar Sweet is the moment things seemed to shift in the room, suddenly there were fans bouncing off the walls and from where I was stood, it almost felt like the ground was shaking. The energetic live show Larkins pull off every time they play was definitely matched by the crowd in Academy that night.
It was no secret this was a gig that the fans and the band did not want to end, a truly well-deserved welcome back to live music that everyone in the room that night felt lucky to witness and I am absolutely positive everyone attending Larkins tour will feel the same.
You can catch Larkins on the rest of their if + when tour at the following dates and can find tickets here.
20 - Manchester Academy 2, Manchester
21 - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham 14+
23 - Castle & Falcon, Birmingham 14+
24 - Thekla, Bristol 14+
8 - Stereo, Glasgow 14+
14 - Heaven, London 14+
Gallery here. Images by Shannon Smith