The QT

Thursday 20 June 2024

A special ‘crazy’ year for The K’s Newcastle frontman

The K’s have gatecrashed the music scene, their debut album battling it out with the likes of Beyoncé and The Libertines at the top of the charts. Dan Sheridan talks to lead singer Jamie Newcastle Boyle who has a summer which includes Glastonbury on his playlist
The K’s have had a crazy year, according to frontman and Newcastle United fan Jamie Boyle (second right)

You’ve heard the phrase before. A term used to describe the unwavering dedication of a football fan: ‘Newcastle is their middle name’. In the case of Jamie Boyle — lead singer of The K’s — this is precisely the case.

Jamie Newcastle Boyle has had the kind of year most musicians can only dream of: a debut album that battled it out with the likes of Beyoncé at the top of the UK album charts and prominent slots at some of the biggest music festivals in the world.

But among the accolades and a packed tour schedule, the 28-year-old has been running the gauntlet of late, surrounded as he is by Manchester United fans in the shape of bandmates Ryan Breslin, Dexter Baker and Nathan Peers, as well as his management team.

His beloved Newcastle and the team from the red half of Manchester duelled it out for a place in Europe in the Premier League last week. The Magpies eventually finished one place better off in seventh, but with that European place still undecided until after the FA Cup final. Bragging rights secured, for now at least.

Alongside his brother Robbie, who also shares the unique middle name as well as a lifelong affiliation with all things black and white, Jamie has become a regular at St James’s Park and on the road at away games thanks to his father Doug, who grew up in Whitley Bay.

Despite living in Earlestown, almost exactly halfway between Liverpool and Manchester, Boyle’s priorities make him a regular on Tyneside.

Jamie with his dad Doug at St James’s Park

“My first game was Everton away when I was about three,” says Jamie. “I’m told I cried the whole time. But I’ve been a season ticket holder for years now. You just catch the bug and it takes over your life.

“We are where we are now, but even the seasons in the Championship, I absolutely loved. Winning every week and visiting grounds you’ve never been to before can’t be beaten. We had some great days.”

Jamie says the band’s surprise slot at Glastobury Festival is a ‘bucket list’ gig

“These days I’m either playing in the band or I’m at the match, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

And what of his other passion? With their album I Wonder If The World Knows peaking at number three in the album charts, The K’s were swiftly added to the Glastonbury Festival line-up — a ‘bucket list’ event as Jamie puts it. 

“We can’t sit here pretending and say, ‘yeah, this is just what we do’. Things have gotten crazier and crazier this year. The album did better than any of us were expecting, and it’s no bad thing to come third behind Beyoncé and The Libertines.

Listen to The K’s single Sarajevo

“The Glastonbury announcement was equally crazy. We play the main stage at the Isle of Wight festival the Friday before, then we play Pink Pop in Holland before gigs in Berlin and Paris. As far as we were concerned, we were coming home after that.

“Then we got the Glasto news and that was the icing on the cake. I’ve never been to Glasto, so I’m really excited to experience it. So many people tell me it’s the best festival there is, and once you go you understand why. I just can’t wait.” 

Jamie says Paul Weller seems to him to be the ‘coolest man on earth’ and cites the former Jam singer as his biggest influence

On his playlist before festival season starts, alongside old-school favourites The Clash and Bruce Springsteen, are New Zealand indie outfit The Beths (‘f*****g ace’, as Jamie puts it) as well as The 1975 (‘such a good live band’). 

 “I know Springsteen is a lot of people’s number one,” says Jamie, “and I know Sam Fender has named him as an influence from the very start, but for me it’s Paul Weller.

“Since I was young I’ve thought he is the coolest man on earth. I’ve idolised him for as long as I can remember and Weller is the reason I’m in a band. Seeing videos of The Jam playing live was a turning point for me — they just looked like the coolest people on earth.”

What a year for Jamie — which could even get better if the next tour of Europe is following Newcastle United in the Uefa Conference League. But that relies on Manchester City winning the FA Cup by beating the Red Devils this weekend. Something that would not go down too well with Jamie’s bandmates or management team!

Check out the band’s website for tour news and merchandise, and see more on their Instagram page

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