Friday, 18 May 2012

Howler: Leicester Sound House

Howler: Leicester Sound House
Gig 23: Thursday 10 May 2012

Another trip to the East Midlands, another debut venue, and another sat nav route through a pedestrian bollarded area.

As a new venue, this was a bit of a surprise, the Leicester Sound House  sounds grand, and turned out to be a long thin pub, where should you need the loo you have to get almost to the stage (if you are a bloke) and virtually sitting in the stage if you are a young lady.

When I arrived the support band Fin (who had let me know on twitter when they were on stage) had just kicked off, and the phrase that springs to mind was cock sure, they had a guitarist who whirled about like a dervish, and a lead singer with quality hair who shouted out 'life is wasted on the living' they were a pretty average support band, with one exception, the stage antics of the lead singer both hanging from the scaffolding around the stage for the penultimate song and then walking in amongst the crowd to sing the final song was a first for a support band.

I stepped back from the stage, glanced up, and saw a celebrity, the Dove from above. Suddenly this venue  leapt in my opinion from simple pug with a stage to shrine to the world of Vic and Bob, just quality, I barely managed to stop myself cooing to beckon down the dove.

Half an hours crappy work emails later and on came Hooded Fang a Canadian band who I was really looking forward to as their song Tosta Mista is one of the best songs of the year. I was a little disappointed as the first few songs were a little dull until Tosta Mista came on and the lass of the band joined in with the vocals with her enchanting voice, the excitement must have been too much for her because after that song she asked for permission to pop to the loo, which was no problems as the loo was right by the stage for the ladies and off she went. The lads in the band improvised a song, which was a cracking surf guitar romp, and the rest of their short set picked up from there. I wonder what these Canadians really made of a support act in a pub in Leicester.

Another half hour and Howler came on, an incredibly young indie band from Minneapolis who I had been turned onto by Radcliffe and Maconie as usual. Johnny Marr has also come in favour of the band which sits them in good pedigree having stood by him to watch Suede in Manchester many moons ago, the man has good taste (not meaning standing next to me).

The audience at the front were youthful, and ready to full on mosh, I make no bones about moving over to the side of the room to let them mosh, mainly because I was still within about 8 foot of the band in this tiny venue. The mosh was full on, its a very low stage, no space between the band and audience and within seconds the mosh pit was doing its best not to sprawl all over the stage. In one song a young lady found herself burst onto the stage and went quietly to sit on a stool by the stage until the song finished. 

This was one of the tightest gigs I have seen, the nature of the band reminded me of the Libertines in full throng and whilst I've not seen them live the Strokes. There was a really strong connection with the audience and the band knew it. They had a lot of interaction with everyone at the front rattled through the songs, primed everyone for no encore and finished with Free Drunk (having jammed sone classics songs before hand) claiming we've got no more songs for an encore.

This was really an electric gig and I can't see Howler doing a gig of this size again for a long long time, I was caught up in the moment and bought the Vinyl album on the way out before driving back home feeling I had seen a special gig, from a band who deserve more hype.........

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