Band goes global across the airwaves

Spring King
Spring King

A Todmorden musician and his bandmates made history when one of their songs was the first played on a new radio station launched by technology giants Apple across the world in 100 countries two weeks ago.

Apple’s global live streamed radio station Beats 1, helmed by former Radio One DJ Zane Lowe, began broadcasting on Monday, June 29, with the Los Angeles based, New Zealand-born Lowe presenting the first show himself.

His choice of opening track was City, by Manchester-based Spring King, founded three years ago by musician and producer Tarek Musa, who include Todmorden musician James Green on bass and backing vocals.

With a global reach, it’s possible the art rockers’ cut will become as well known as The Move’s Flowers In The Rain, which famously began BBC Radio One’s history back in 1967.

The band is already benefitting - within hours - from the global exposure to their short, punchy songs.

James, who used to play drums with quirky Halifax outfit Frontier Psychiatrists, said: “It’s mind-boggling. It’s the biggest exposure for any unsigned band.

“Within an hour or two of it being broadcast we had done interviews with the NME and Wired, and since then others including a comment for USA Today.

“We all sort of laughed when Zane presented our first single on Radio One and when he left and went to Apple we thought he wouldn’t play us again.

“We have never actually met him but he played our single two years ago, and when he played our latest one he really took to it.

“But we had no idea of it being the first track on Apple’s new station.”

BBC Radio has been very supportive since the band’s formation, with live sessions including one for Lauren Laverne, said James.

Already, with debut 7” and the latest EP out via one-off deals on independent labels, there are rumours of a bidding war being sparked by the historic Beats 1 airplay, but that is speculation the musicians are trying to keep out of at the moment, said James. Anything that does transpire will be considered carefully by band and management.

The band’s officially released video for the track can be viewed at and Spring King have built a strong audience through digital releases and regular gigging, including some prestigious headline and support slots.