Sports Team Jake Lewis 2019
All photos by Jake Lewis

5 Things We Learned From Watching Sports Team Live

Plus your chance to spend some time in their glitzy backstage area (sort of).
Ryan Bassil
London, GB
photos by Jake Lewis
March 27, 2019, 10:30am

For Sports Team, everything keeps increasing by the bucketload. More sweat, more fans, more shows. The six-piece guitar band from Cambridge drew a stake into the belly of every other young group in the country when they launched last year, effectively killing off the idea that new bands can’t be fun. “There’s no money in guitar music,” guitarist Rob Knaggs said to us at the time, “The press isn’t really looking at it… So if you’re not having fun, why are you doing it?”


A year later and they’re still living by that statement. The band have played SXSW, The Great Escape, Reading and Leeds and have looked like they’ve been having a whale of a time in the process. So, in the hour or so before their biggest headline show to date at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, I thought it time to ask them the big questions. Like, what’s life like for them now they’ve been on the road – do they hate each other yet? Are they bored of sandwiches, vans and the same five pairs of underwear? Has Rice self-imploded?

Well, reader, do you know what: you’ll have to wait until another day to find out the answer to those questions. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve lost the phone that had the interview on it (read: call to the universe for it to return, because it’s probably in the hands of a thief who has turned it off). And so, at this point – if I hadn’t have told you the above – I could have fabricated the entire interview and you could have believed every word, or I could tell you five things I’ve learned about them and remembered from watching that very same live show. Or maybe these are all lies too, who knows. Stay after the jump for a load more photos too, by Jake Lewis.

Alex Rice is Pondering a Side Hustle as a Matador

Alex Rice, Sports Team

Sports Team frontman Alex Rice is perhaps one of the most thrilling performers of his generation, careening around the stage like a wild cat with a stomach full of taurine. Such is the way he moves that if Mick Jagger were to be watching you can bet his hips might be jealous. All of which is to say: sure, yes, go ahead and take up a career as a matador. The Sports Team frontman picked up the outfit for a disgustingly outrageous price while on tour and seemingly refuses to take it off – as evidenced in the photo above.

Alex Rice Would Also Like a Sponsorship from Juul

Alex Rice Smoking Sports Team

This piece isn’t going to be just about Alex Rice (promise) but I will tell you this – he loves a juul (again, see above). Please direct all enquiries about official collaboration through the band’s management.

Alex Rice is the Last One on Stage

Alex Rice Sports Team

Ok, no I lied… one more. Like a member of WWE or simply a child in need of attention, Alex Rice is last to enter the stage at their Electric Ballroom show, waiting for each member to head and dutifully await his presence first. Then, after revving up, he bursts through the backstage double doors and onto the stage. It’s kind of like watching a Duracell bunny. Later he climbs the side of stage lighting. Phwoar.

They Stayed in a Brothel in SXSW. Or Maybe a Drug Den, Who Knows

Apparently people were coming into their host's Airbnb at all hours of the night, then leaving again after a suspiciously short amount of time. The guy also had a pretty scary dog, which they reckon was for protection. Needless to say, they stayed for a couple of nights before transferring somewhere else.

Kids Lap Up This Band Like Cats to Milk

One of the best things about Sports Team is their Whatsapp group they’ve created for fans. All of the band are members and they pop into the group every so often to say hello. In practice, this means they’ve cultivated a very tight knit group of fans – one that goes beyond whatever you’d usually get on Twitter or Instagram, bringing everyone closer together. After the Camden show finishes, the band head to north London venue The Dublin Castle where they’re hosting an official after party, and queues for this stretch far, far down the road, proving their staying power. Next stop… Knebworth?

Sports Team, Live
Rob Knaggs, Sports Team
Sports Team fans

You can find Ryan on Twitter and Jake on Instagram.