Tonight, we’re back at The Finsbury for Hidden Herd vs Lost in the Manor and the brimming back room is busier than ever in anticipation of an exhilarating four-strong lineup spearheaded by soaring indie-rockers Hot Dreams.
First up, Brightonians Twilight Driving cloak the rapidly-filling venue with Americana-infused gems that evoke sprawling open roads and stunning vistas. Hooky, harmony-honeyed guitar pop is the quartet’s sound in a nutshell, with Springsteen-tinged rocker ‘Soft & Pink’ and stadium-ready slowburner ‘When Love Goes Wrong’ recalling everyone from Fleet Foxes to The War On Drugs. It’s a winning combo, for sure.
London’s Marine are something different entirely but are equally gripping. The quartet’s off-kilter rock is even more immersive in the flesh – a bewitching and visceral noise that’s part Warpaint, part Wild Beasts, part PJ Harvey. Theatrical vocals, chiming guitars and an intricate backdrop of bass and beat interlock on songs from their forthcoming debut album ‘Fable Electric’, which makes for a spellbinding stint.
Then come Headclouds, whose glistening concoctions transport The Finsbury to warmer climes. The Newcastle five-piece’s slew of dreamy sun-bleached songs are vaguely reminiscent of alt-pop maestros Weezer, albeit if Rivers Cuomo buried his most infectious nuggets beneath a fuzzy, lo-fi veneer. High praise indeed, but not undeserved; the shimmering jangle of ‘Flowers’ sparkles below the vibrant spatter of lights and hook-loaded latest single ‘‘Seen It Before’ is an anthemic highlight.
The highlights are many during the phenomenal finale too. Headliners Hot Dreams have a massive crowd in front of them and duly deliver with a stellar set that melds post-punk and guitar-pop. Both rousing and utterly mesmerising in equal measure, the atmospheric ‘Another Night’ is chock-full of dreamy textures and Grizzly Bear-ish harmonies, while the euphoric ‘Plungepool’ and the captivating ‘Will You Dive’ are awash with shimmering guitars and spine-tingling refrains. At the centre of it all is Kai Fennell’s distinctive voice, which soars above the glistening backdrop and envelopes the entire room. It leaves us sure that the Londoners are destined for more cavernous surrounds.