It’s lumming down and there’s a bitter breeze tonight, but The Hope & Ruin is a sold out, sauna-like sanctuary, with Manc post-punkers Spring King spearheading a lineup of high-octane thrills in its sweat-veiled upstairs room.
Brighton newcomers FUR ring up the curtain with a promising set that overspills with early-Arctics aping and Fratellis fretwork. New track ‘One and Twenty’ is the highlight, a slow-build that draws to a ringing guitar climax and is delivered with ’07 ragamuffin swagger.
Their melodious indie guitar pop is a far cry from the feverishly intense post-rock that follows though. FEWS‘ live show unreels with dreamlike rapidity; all motorik beats, pinging echo-laden guitar lines and facial expressions of wild glee. The foursome are razor tight and their crowning point ‘The Zoo’ sounds like TOY and DIIV collaborating on a killer Joy Division cover. It precedes an equally exhilarating sprint-paced epic, which closes their stint and sees them collapse to the floor as if they’ve just run a marathon.
The Swedish band’s mind-blowing set certainly throws down the gauntlet for tonight’s bill-toppers Spring King, who retort in fitting fashion with a fire hose of art-pop-punk that begs to be hollered along to. It’s their first headline show in BN1 and the quartet’s scintillating energy and excitement is unshakeably infectious; ‘Better Man’ is a giddy blast of breakneck power chords, brand-new tune ‘Rectifier’ is a flourish of cucumber-cool cocksure rock ‘n’ roll and ‘Who Are You’ is a brute-force earwormer that prompts circle pits, body surfing and flailing limbs. That said, it’s an unlikely cover that enthralls most; their whirlwind remake of Grimes‘ ‘Oblivion’ sounds like Supergrass circa ‘I Should Coco’, complete with high cooing backing vocals that cut through its dizzying wall of sound. Rip-roaring and relentless, their rise from side-project to something much bigger shows no sign of slowing.