Over the years, MPF (Manchester Punk Festival) has been a brilliant showcase for hundreds of up and coming bands. Alongside a few name headliners, the event has been the best place to see alternative and punk artists in small venues as they make their mark on the DIY scene.
Previous years have seen sets from Propagandhi, Light Year, Wonk Unit, Chaser, Pizzatramp and countless others. The legendary Discharge had been confirmed to appear at the 2020 event, but the world had other ideas.
If you were the kind of person that went to ska and punk gigs back in the late 90s, chances are you saw King Prawn. Chances are you saw the band a lot. There was a period when they seemed to support anyone and everyone. No matter how many times they appeared on a bill, though, they were always entertaining…and once seen, nobody could ever forget bassist Babar Luck’s distinctive presence.
The band split in 2003 but reformed nine years later without Luck. The idea of a King Prawn without him seemed odd at first, especially since he was such an integral part of the original band’s live show, but it was good to have them back. Showing off a more commercial side, King Prawn’s 2014 comeback single ‘Done Days’ was, in some ways, a lacklustre return to studio work, but five years on, the long-awaited full length ‘The Fabulous New Sounds of King Prawn’ is a marked improvement.
Set to take place over Easter weekend 2019, the Manchester Punk Festival (MPF) is expected to feature over 130 bands. The punk equivalent of the Camden Crawl Festival, the event will take place in Manchester City Centre and be hosted in eight different venues.
In the late 90s, it felt as if it were almost impossible to attend a punk/ska gig without seeing King Prawn in the support slot. Through hard work and a sweaty touring schedule, the band built a devoted following before splitting in 2003.