Sprints & Cardinals @ Winthrop Avenue, Cork 8/10/2022
What felt like an eternity since it was announced, Dublin punk outfit, Sprints finally made their way to Winthrop Avenue. Support came from the brooding Cardinals.
Words by Jack Squibb
It was a late night show tucked away at the back of the Old Oak, also known as Winthrop Avenue, a venue you could mistake for a Tiny Desks episode. Sprints brought Cardinals along for a sold out performance. There was a buzz in the air as adrenaline still pumped around after Pillow Queens performed in Cyprus Avenue only moments earlier. It meant spirits were high as Cork’s moody rockers, Cardinals took to the stage.
The quartet’s brooding performance was lit perfectly, as they were doused in red light. Lead singer, Euan Manning cradled his mic as he stood almost stoically throughout the set. A prominent figure as the band around him swarmed the intimate venue with explosive riffs and sonic keys.
For a new band on the scene, Cardinals executed their performance in ferocious style. Fine-tuned, playing like The Smiths or Interpol but less depressing.
With new single, ‘Literary Mind’ sent out into the ether, Sprints continue to be kicking and screaming to the forefront of everyone’s attention. Showered with praise constantly from Steve LeMac on BBC Radio 6, constant airplays on 2FM and more, their reputation is already solidified as one of the finest Irish acts on the scene.
For all the gigs they’ve played, it had to be one of the most intimate venues to date that they’ve come across. From the opening chords being struck, it felt like people were climbing over each other to make it known that they love what they were unleashing upon them.
An intimate venue quickly became a sweatbox with leader, Karla Chubb thrashing round the stage and her band mates struggling to stick within the constrained boundaries they were given. An intense performance had the crowd on edge, how should they act, should they turn feral? Should they remain composed, given the capacity they had to move within?
As Sprints continued to implode more and more, it became clear, the only option was to turn feral. Intense pre-choruses, rumbling bass lines and then emerging into sheer chaos with roaring riffs, what else could happen?
A rip-fire Irish tour before their biggest gig to date in London that they sold out. They’ve shown once again why Sprints are one of the most electrifying bands on the Irish scene right now.