And so I find myself back in the Joiners, one of Southampton's best venues
for bands on their way to the top.
While the first band played, (Different Day,) I confess, I sat in the
bar talking with some complete strangers, before heading downstairs to
interview The Hedrons during the first change over. After the interview,
I emerged back out of the “bands only” cellar, to join the
small crowd for the other support band, Get Amped.
I'll be honest, their music didn't grab me. I've since learned that they've
played Download Festival and have actually been around a while, which
isn't something that was obvious from there playing. The three piece looked
tidy enough, dressed in black, and blue neons trailing up the neck of
the guitar, but the stage presence was what was lacking. Admittedly the
Joiners isn't the place for wild stage shows, you're on a small podium
elevated a few feet above a crowd, in an equally small room, but still.
The songs were good, I mean, there were no flaws, but they all sounded
relatively similar and didn't seem to get anywhere. Maybe that was just
the choice of set, or the sound itself (which is usually generally very
good here,) and they might sound a lot better on a studio recording. The
guitarist was the opposite of his instrument, very shy and didn't seem
to move much, as opposed to bright and flamboyant. The vocalist just looked
like an excited little boy. Hey Mum, it's me. I'm famous, you know.
He'd half-attempt some little jump thing, and nod his head a bit while
playing, staring wide-eyed into the crowd whilst singing as if everybody
knew the words. Maybe there was a chorus effect on his monitors and he
was in fact blind, because I seem to recall only two people knowing what
was going on.
I can't criticise them for their music really, there was nothing wrong,
but there was something in general not right. Never the less, I think
3/5 is a fair call for that particular gig.
And then we stood around waiting for the Hedrons, a band which I was
very fond of. A Scottish female four-piece, full of energy, and ready
to go. In the interview, the drummer Soup, had referred to the band as
“fast-paced-punk,” a very different feel from that I got from
listening to the CD, however, when they started playing live, I knew exactly
what she was on about.
The first song was “Stop Look And Listen”, straight in there
with the fast-paced-punk-sex-wee-inducing music. Try not at least nodding
along to that, I challenge you. Next came “Couldn't Leave Her Alone,”
still keeping the upbeat style but not so heavy punk, just generally good
The lead singer Tippi, played guitar for some songs too, but when the
guitar wasn't in her hands, she had a firm grip of the microphone and
lurched around the stage, crouching forward over the front, and then leaning
back as if to say “yeah I'm awesome.”
Next came “Falling Star,” “Sympathy,” and a previously
released single “Be My Friend,” with a stupidly catchy vocal
Half way through the set comes The Hedrons greatest song so far. Their
latest single, “Heatseeker,” is basically just the sex.
“Dear Thomas,” (a non-album track,) preceded “Frame
Of Mind,” and “What Am I To Do,” the final track on
the debut album, which is a lot slower and downbeat than the rest of the
set list. “Cadillac,” (another non-album track,) came before
the title track, “One More Won't Kill Me,” and the first ever
Hedrons song I heard, “I Need You.”
The final track was called “Once Upon A Time,” another track
that wasn't included on the album. Tippi got down from the stage and wandered
around the crowd singing, right down to the fair end of the room, and
then wet up on the bars by the mixing desk singing and getting into perfect
photo poses. The rest of the band just carried on as usual, Soup bashing
away and working up a sweat, Rosie playing guitar and keeping herself
to herself, and Gill the replacement bassist, (after Chi's serious car-crash
before Christmas, she could be out of action for eight months minimum,)
strolling between her microphone and the drum-kit.
Generally, pretty awesome.
Well done ladies. :)
Review By Thom