Strange News From Another Star – Hull, 22-23/12/2015

Leaving Brighton’s pebbles for a brief trip back up North at Christmas time is the staple point of my December diary. It has become so regimented that when I leave to go back for various festive celebrations, much to my parent’s dismay, I spend more time seeing live music than I do seeing or doing any family orientated things. So, in typical fashion, I ventured into the depths of Hull to go and catch local band Dead Hormones on Tuesday night at the Polar Bear for the weekly Sesh night.

Sesh is a night that occurs on a weekly basis, falling on every Tuesday night. It takes the cream of the crop of the city’s local music scene and showcases them to a baying crowd. This week it happened to be the Christmas edition and seldom have I witnessed a pub that busy, busting at the seams there was a string of punters trying to get through from having a crafty fag outside, now having lost their space and having to jostle their way through, pints slipping over the rim of the glass and drenching the poor soul quivering below. Dead Hormones pack in a raucous, discordant racket. It falls smack into the middle of everything Wolfmother and The Vines taught you, it walks the tightrope of coordinated chaos, veering perfectly across it blending enough of the organisation and coherence within a wash of theatrics, feedback volume. A close comparison to home would fall at the feet of Tigercub, racing tempos and interesting dynamics allow the songs to stretch without ever becoming overbearing and repetitive. Word spreads that this was Dead Hormones’ coming of age show, they are set to release their new EP in February 2016 and we hope to catch them down in Brighton in the not so distant future.

Christmas at The Adelphi Club in Hull is certainly a better way to feel the festive cheer than most have had. A Christmas tree the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza swamped the corner of the room whilst a venue with a capacity crowd awaited the onslaught of the post-punk, Britpop outfit, BREEZE who were in support tonight. BREEZE pack in a set that takes into account songs that appear larger than life. When it comes to the songwriting process, there is occasionally an arrogance that lurks around pretence, perhaps trying to overcomplicate things for egotistical purposes or making things excessively wordy to prove you are the oh-so tortured poet that the creative industry leaks into your mind. What BREEZE evidence is that songs such as ‘Same Wave’, ‘Lovestoned’ and ‘Can You Get Along?’ pick up on a Television post-punk nostalgia, a blend of groove and sullen vocals tied in nicely with choruses that give Jarvis Cocker a slight wink, the type that Pulp demonstrate with ‘Sunrise’.

Headlining the night were alternative rockers, La Bete Blooms. Flickering old TV’s crackled away, trashed on top of amplifiers or kicking about a stage that was about to fall mercy to Dan Mawer and co. Picking up on the tense atmosphere of the audience, a pocket at the front fell mercy to what was about to happen and erupted at the first note of ‘Breaking In’. Glimmers of Joey Santiago’s guitar sections from ‘Vamos’ glimmer through, acting as the mattress springing delirious youths around, trumped up on cheap beer. The set was vitalised with Mawer’s looming presence, hanging delicately around a fragile mic stand whilst clutching a perilous microphone he sputtered the lyrics to ‘Stay Away’ which arrives at a terrifying velocity. The set developed and the band grew in confidence with it, Christmas belonged to them this year as a strong set deepened with singles such as ‘TV Speak’ and ‘Summer’, the whole set whipped by in the blink of an eye. It was relentless from the off but what more did you want on such a cold, blustery night in the far North? What La Bete Blooms do exceptionally well is acknowledge their influences rather than mimic them in a copycat fashion. There are glaring examples of Sebadoh hidden away, amongst aspects of Pavement and Folk Implosion however Mawer’s take on this depends on a rigid, Northern angle, giving the sound a fresh breath as a opposed to the stale, replica which many bands fall victim to.

A timely, brief visit back to a place where many of my young memories linger can act as a nostalgic strut down memory lane. Seeing many familiar faces and drinking in the same pubs that I struggled to get served in when I was 16. What makes it all so fucking lovely though is being able to see how bands have changed and developed and ultimately, what a musical hub Hull has become in my absence. Brighton, you need to catch some of these.

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