The night has arrived, one that has been eagerly anticipated at Hidden Herd HQ for months. This evening is Hidden Herd Presents: Strong Asian Mothers, our first ever show in Brighton, and despite southern blizzards, The Hope & Ruin fills fast for an eclectic voyage through some of our most treasured new music finds.
First on are long-standing favourites Bokito, whose tropical-tinged indie pop never fails to make hips shake and faces illuminate with delight. The London-Irish five-piece are, as ever, on scintillating form, with effervescent frontman Moses Moorhouse spearheading the band’s infectious mélange of calypso grooves, fidgety rhythms and rousing choruses. Debut single ‘Better At Getting Worse” jolts the assembling crowd into life, before latest tune ‘Aloof’ takes things up a notch again, sounding like Glass Animals and Vampire Weekend giving Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ a carnival-ready makeover.
Brighton-based futurists MOONOVERSUN are something different entirely, but bring no less floor-filling spirit to the now brimming upstairs room. The electro-poppers’ wow with technicolour tunes that straddle genres, and each vibrant blast is chock-full of half garbled hooks that sound like an intoxicating amalgamation of Charli XCX and the bleep-addled soundtrack to a 2007 Skins house party. ‘Flux’, the boy/girl duo’s experimental first release, is case in point, recalling everyone from Micachu & The Shapes to Crystal Castles with its off-kilter lilts and DIY pop aesthetic.
On the other end of the spectrum are fellow Brightonians Safe To Swim, who hurtle through a thunderous slew of rib-rattling rock songs. However, like Reading heavyweights The Amazons, there’s a strong pop sensibility lurking beneath their heavy veneer, which means the elephantine refrains of biggest tracks ‘Struggling’, ‘Boyfriend’ and ‘Pretty In The Morning’ will be firmly lodged in our head for the foreseeable future. As each one ricochets around the venue at ear-splitting volume, it’s evident the south coast quartet’s tunes are primed for packed out festival fields and mobbed stadiums, with each and every line purpose-built to be bawled right back at them in lung-busting fashion.
The diverse supporting cast are the perfect apéritif ahead of brilliant bill-toppers Strong Asian Mothers, whose fizzy fusion of RnB and indie-electro makes for a genre-spanning and fun-crammed finale. Electro-beeps, feet-shifting beats and skyscraping refrains ignite The Hope & Ruin over the course of the magnetic London trio’s dazzling 45-minute stint, where a slew of pop earworms make the dingy room bloom with light. Intergalactic humdinger ‘Hard to Find’, slinky En Vogue cover ‘Don’t Let Go’ and kaleidoscopic early single ‘The More That I’ are even more vibrant in the flesh, thanks to the exuberant delivery of Kalim “Khushi” Patel (vocals/keys) and Amer Chadha-Patel (keys/samples/vocals) who bounce off each other throughout. Closing with a hip-hop medley that wins hearts, it’s clear Strong Asian Mothers are performers at the peak of their powers – and we’ll bask in the afterglow of their stellar set for quite some time to come.
Join us for our next Brighton show, Hidden Herd Presents: Swimming Tapes with support from THYLA, Method Actress and Nature TV, on Friday 13th April at The Green Door Store. Tickets available in store at Resident and online via DICE.