It’s a bitterly chilly dusk in the city’s north, but The Finsbury is a toasty retreat that’s illuminated by dancing twinkling lights and a deep orange glow. Inside tonight, the back room plays host to Hidden Herd‘s last show of the year in collaboration with label Lost In The Manor, and the stage awaits three thrilling new acts who look set to soar in the impending months.
First up are South London band TONES, who raise the temperature by hurtling through a high-octane set that overspills with fiery rock tunes. The newcomers are all about rage-fuelled refrains and barbed guitars, and the combination feels like a sonic sucker-punch in the vein of Metalcore kingpins Bring Me The Horizon. At their best (‘Here On After’, ‘A.W.O.L’), the four-piece’s call-to-arms anthems are affecting and all-consuming, jolting the room into life.
The big riffs continue with London-based blues machine Gutxi Bibang, whose gritty garage rock ‘n’ roll is groove-laden and gripping from the outset. The Spanish native sounds like an amalgam of Lenny Kravitz and Jet, and the virtuosic trio delivering the Bibang experience are sharply-dressed, decked out head to toe in 60s and 70s garb, with the man himself sporting denim bell-bottoms and a glitter-spangled blouse. It’s not the only echo of those decades, with standout ‘System of a Gun’ sending out a poignant message that shares the sentiment of the peace and love revolution. With contagious chords and an earworming melody to boot, it’s the crowning moment of a rip-roaring stint.
Headliners Haize, who hail from Reading, are less nostalgic than their predecessor, but are certainly no less evocative. The foursome crank things up a few notches during their mightily impressive night-closing slot, which is brimming with the sort of glistening indie pop that longs to soundtrack sun-blasted jaunts to the coast during the dog days of summer. The euphoric hooks come one after the other, with choruses that sink their talons into your brain and glimmering guitar lines that are as vivid as neon in the dead of night. Naturally, stellar singles ‘Solar’ and ‘Blue Lights’ are the dazzling high points, recalling everyone from Peace and Swim Deep to fellow Berks bands Sundara Karma and The Amazons. However, Haize aren’t just replicas of those acts; their sprawling kaleidoscopic jams, dreamy lyrics and pop sensibility combine to make for a unique concoction; one that deserves its own place on the musical landscape.