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King No One at Manchester Academy 2 review

James Booton was in Manchester to witness the indie rock four piece doing the business on the final night of their UK tour.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 20th Mar 2018

Image: King No One (credit)

We all love those cramped, sweaty, mid-week gigs. The ones that fill the air with communal angst and leave the venue with a musical hangover, its head still ringing the next day, with the sound of the night before. However, there are some bands that are simply designed for the bigger stage, and so, there comes a time when you must take a step out of the hustling music community, to witness the extravagance of something special. It is on these occasions that the Yorkshire based King No-One thrive, and yes… they produce something special!

There isn’t a much better place to end a UK tour than what they, themselves, called “the real capital of the UK”…Manchester. They certainly lived up to the expectations that such a culturally rich city demands, combining the excitement of the tour’s final show with the unbeatable energy of the Manchester youth, to make a night full of nothing but a shared love for music.

The show’s opener ‘Constellations’, was an instant indication of the heightened level they were performing at. Using their recorded tracks merely as a base for the night, they amplified every element of the set, transforming some usually quite chilled songs into stadium filling anthems. This incredible live performance was largely aided by the bravado of their frontman, Zach Lount. He, like the rest of the band, is humble at heart as they constantly tour the country busking, and make an incredible effort with their most devoted fans to help in any way they can. Yet, when he walks out on stage he takes on an almost supernatural aura.

His actions command the audience, and act almost as a focal point, allowing the music to flow through him and out into every member of the crowd. This was best seen in the grand finale of ‘Alcatraz’ and ‘Antichrist’. His showmanship made it impossible for anyone there to not be drawn into his extravagant microcosm. So much so that the main support, Saytr Play, also delivered a noticeably ramped up performance. With crowd-surfing, big choruses and a similar level of on-stage swagger, they produced an extremely note-worthy set.

However, these two eye-catching individuals did not come across as arrogant. There was a true sense of solidarity in the air, as Zach took numerous opportunities to spread the band’s messages of equality and safety inside their gigs. Two songs in, he warned everybody that “we won’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment. We are all just here to have as much fun as possible!”. This sort of act is exactly what we need from our young artists.

It is one thing to hear it from a politician or campaigner, but the effect that hearing it from your idol can have, is extremely underestimated! Zach also explained the message behind ‘Systematic’ (“This one is about never feeling comfortable in your surroundings…and then finally feeling like you’ve found your home”) before revealing an LGBT flag to the crowd and making their all-encompassing philosophy clear. Their subsequent performance of the song was electrifying, with the band pouring everything they had into those four minutes. It encapsulated the feeling of the entire night and was reflective of their eye-catching name.


No one was king. Every single person under that roof had forgotten the bitter cold of the evening and was united in their passion, creating an unforgettable event. With their social awareness, countless uplifting anthems, and infectious live performances, King No-One are paving the way for modern music…and this is just the beginning. Bring on the album!