With the first days of spring imminent, it’s time for another excursion to The Finsbury in London’s north for the latest of HIDDEN HERD’s curated shows alongside Lost in the Manor.
Openers Marlon Brando Island begin on a brooding note, tantalising attendees with their cinematic rock, which harbours the same intensity as The Walkmen and The National circa the mid-noughties. Despite having only recently dispatched their debut single ‘A Troubled Past‘, the London three-piece already create a bewitching atmosphere and frontman Marcus Fulcher projects a magnetic aura, captivating the venue with his impassioned yelp that packs a Matt Berninger-like punch.
They’re followed by Brighton fuzz-rockers Penelope Isles, who unleash a slew of psych-tinged nuggets and lure a rapturous reception from the bustling back room. The quartet ooze charm throughout and make a hypnotic sound that fills the space, with dreamy 2016 release ‘Gnarbone‘ proving to be the jewel in their crown with its liquid guitars and rip-roaring wall-of-sound climax. Elsewhere, they turn our mind to sun-kissed beaches with a mélange of shimmering licks, hazy swirls and off-kilter melodies, recalling Brooklynites Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in the process.
Building on their momentum, Wild Front transport us to warmer climes with summery fretwork and glorious refrains. The Hampshire foursome’s style immediately distinguishes itself from the previous acts, sitting somewhere between previous HIDDEN HERD favourites Dance a la Plage and the ever-influential Foals. Their kaleidoscopic guitars sit atop crisp percussion, lending danceable melodies to rock sensualities and the result is a sound that instantly captivates, remaining dynamic enough to enthral throughout.
Latest release ‘Her’ is the set’s pinnacle – with its glistening combination of fidgety grooves, synth-loaded choruses and ethereal breakdowns – before the glacial rock of previous single ‘Views‘ evokes dreamy planes thanks to its washed-out, chiming riff.
Finally, headliners FOURS take to the stage to deliver a slew of meticulously-crafted indie pop songs, which are a divine mix of 80s-inspired guitarwork, melodic flutters and rousing vocals. Harnessing the commanding power of everyone from Florence Welch to Whitney Houston, singer Edith Violet’s powerful and anthemic vocals are a tour de force, enrapturing the furthest corners of the room and holding each and every onlooker in a euphoric embrace.
The London quartet’s style is undeniably uplifting and infectious, purpose-built to festoon summer playlists and win the hearts of sun-bleached festival fields around the globe. Latest tracks ‘Fade to Love‘ and ‘Sickly Sweet‘ both carry the same accessible quality, which will no doubt reach far and wide as the year rolls on, while tracks from 2015’s ‘Everything I Never Said’ focus on a slower, more melancholy side to their sound that is reminiscent of Stevie Nicks’s solo output. Concluding their set to wild applause, as their giant silver balloons bounce around the venue, it’s clear that FOURS are an exciting prospect indeed.