Sports Team have spent the last 12 months travelling the country, honing their craft and building a following ready to listen to their recorded offerings. Today, the band release ‘Winter Nets’ via Nice Swan Records. The EP serves as an introduction to not only to the bands sound and influence, but their character. One of the first times we met frontman, Alex Rice was at Birthdays, London. Dressed head to toe in Linen, the man had no interest in a catch up, he was too busy sniffing for potential management with the smirk that has become synonymous with the band. If I remember rightly, there were business cards. The line up that night included Shame, Dead Pretties, Lice and Hotel Lux…he knew there was an opportunity. This encounter somewhat captures the personality of the band. Willing to make the most of every opportunity but never take themselves too seriously. They have wound up working with former Roc Nation and Ian Brown producer, Dave McCracken so, serious or not, it’s worked. Maybe they gave him one of those cards?
To the ears, Sports Team bottle up a sound that could only be produced on British shores and only by dissatisfied millennials. Start to finish you’ll find radio ready pop gems, with the highlight being ‘Camel Crew’. A track with all the necessary ingredients, Story telling, infectious chorus and rumour of a diss track undertone. EP closer ‘Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi’ welcomes a potential French following whilst also leaving us with a possible fan favourite, even at 1 minute 39 seconds. Good fun that track.
Winter Nets is available now via Nice Swan Records. Listen below as we have a chat with the lads about their beginnings, Diss tracks and their tour plans.
Hello Sports Team! Congratulations, your music physically exists. Is this ‘One of those moments”?
Let’s hope so!
Lets dig right in and go back to the start…How did you all find each other?
We all met at Cambridge. The band started in our final year there.
You all live together in Harlesdon, any squabbles for the remote?
Everything’s very peaceful right now…
We’ve heard some rumours of a Portuguese restaurant feeding your ‘creative flow’ with cheap beer and lock ins. Can you tell us about the place and why it’s special to the band?
We lived in Westbourne Park before we moved further out to Harlesden. Sporting Clube de Londres is next to the canal there in what looks like an old garage. I’m not sure about creative flows, but it certainly fed us. Beers there are actually quite expensive. Angies is a lot cheaper. Sporting is a great place in summer though, Paula the manager is quite stern but seems to tolerate us!
Talk us through how you and Nice Swan Records got together?
We met Alex at the Five Bells actually. I think it was one of your shows, at the point where those ‘diss track’ rumours started floating about. Charlie from Shame had had a bit of a dig on Twitter, which he asked about. Either way, we wound up chatting about South London and the video Holly Whittaker was doing for Pip Blom which somehow got round to us doing the EP.
Talk us through the process of ‘Winter Nets’, you worked with Dave McCracken right? What did he bring to the table?
Yeah, Dave recorded and produced the EP for us. He has a studio in Hammersmith in an old timber yard, which we did the whole thing at. We’re back in recording with him next week.
Have these songs been around for a long time?
Stanton is the oldest track, that’s one of the first we wrote. The rest were from last summer. We recorded in late August. Beverly Rose and Camel Crew were from June, Winter Nets from Back to the Point was written when we were in the studio, and recorded a few weeks later. We had a lot of time in the studio, and doing a 12″ meant we could be quite flexible with what went on there.
‘Camel Crew’ is a particular highlight. It’s been described as your ‘diss’ track…is the HMLTD beef real or a bit of fun?
I hope it’s fun. They get a little shout out in the song, which seems to have caused a lot of excitement on South London WhatsApp circles. I think the fact that it’s being called a ‘diss track’ probably speaks about how self-congratulatory that scene has become. For a band who claim to love sparking controversy, HMLTD seem a sensitive bunch…
Either way, while Duc’s off stateside looking for ‘the song’ — any beef has had to be put on ice.
You all went to Cambridge University…we can assume this wasn’t to pursue the Indie band dream. What has led you to have a go at the charts? What’s the Sports Team Dream?
I’m not sure any of us went wanting to do anything in particular. I’d be a bit sceptical of a band setting out to conquer the charts. Genuinely, we really enjoy being together, playing music and being on stage – we’d still be doing this whatever the outcome.
Personally, my dream would still be the life of a County journeyman though, bowling swing somewhere in the mid 70s and helping guide less experienced players through the Kent system.
Where can we find you next?
We’re playing the Five Bells on Thursday (with Yowl and Fur) for Independent Venue Week. It’s our last London headline until March, so we’re planning on a big one. We’re then off on tour with Pip Blom. Manchester. Birmingham. Bristol. And then back for a Moth Club headline on the 28th.