Habberdash – The Maze – Nottingham – Tuesday 17th September
Review – Tanya Russell
Sometimes as a music journalist, you attend a gig and immediately want to see the band again. Sometimes…but not very often. Tonight, however, was one of those nights.
From the moment that the band launched into their first track, Criminy, I immediately recall the energy and hunger of early Arctic Monkeys gigs. The pounding beat and rapid fire lyrics complement racing riffs that resonate across ferocious harmonies as the crowd clap along enthusiastically, encourage by bassist Hayden Marshall, who in interview stated ‘I can’t stand bands who don’t interact with the crowd’.
A crashing crescendo then indicates the start of another belter of a tune that melds the heavier side of Britpop (think Ash) with a mod attitude and undertone, making Foremost very enjoyable indeed. In a high octane performance that leaves the crowd breathless, the band shuttle straight into the next song, Tadpole, with frantic vocals layered over riffs that start your heart racing. Habberdash have a set of songs to dance deliriously along to and hook laden melodies that sizzle with a relentless spark.
Manikin is a punky track with attitude and aggressively delivered vocals and a performance that has bassist Marshall wielding his bass like a weapon and ramping up the showmanship, ensuring that Habberdash are not just another forgettable wannabe indie band but instead are a captivating collection of performers who turn you into fans by the end of the set.
The lights flash like a lightning storm as the band thunder through a set that seems laden with the singles that those in the know will soon be raving about.
After announcing that they are going to perform ‘a bit of a slow one’ and encouraging swaying arms throughout the audience, the change in tempo is a sustained showcase for singer Kriss Stainton’s brilliantly bluesy vocal talent, delivered with an emotive power that is meltingly moving and shows that the band are not just a one-trick pony.
Swear Jar follows, a song with such a mesmerising melody with raucous repeated refrain that I ask our intern if she knows which band did the original. Now knowing better, I can confirm that this is not a cover but instead is such a superb song that I forgot about deconstructing the performance for our avid readers and instead just danced around and joined in with the catchy chorus. A brilliant song that you definitely want to make sure is on your I-pod. In fact, a glass on a nearby table throws itself onto the floor during the song, tiny shards of shattered slivers glinting in the spotlights as an indication of the power behind the band’s performance.
Ending with Superficial Priority, an aural juggernaut of a track with a driving melody and a ceaseless beat, Habberdash have created something very special here tonight and Lyric Lounge would certainly recommend that you dash yourself along to one of their gigs to see their awesomeness for yourself.