Gig review: The Hot Soles, Mad Colours and Hey Sholay @ The Harley

It’s a cold evening, I’m pretty worn out from a lacklustre final day of work before the Christmas break, so what better way to enliven my evening that watching Hey Sholay, with support from Mad Colours and The Hot Soles at The Harley?

Accompanied by my *already* inebriated (soon to become heavily inebriated) mates Ancliff and Titch, this review begins honest and professionally enough, but as you will evidently read, soon becomes defied by their insistence to add comment and opinion.

I apologise in advance.

Taking no time in exporting their own heady mixture of Rock n’ Roll Blues, The Hot Soles, with a hint of Cocksure Punk, and all soul, are a drum and guitar two piece that demand attention.

So much so that an impromptu crowd expedition by Kieran, the guitarist/singer sees the man head of the furthest depths of the pub to export his guitar licks to those less insistent on rubbing their torsos up against their fellow man, all the whilst supported by Richard’s gut punchingly strong drumming. A somewhat less successful and dramatic attempt is made to bring crowd members to the stage to join with the band, adding each their voice in a backing vocal/sing off competition (Funny how the people chosen were on first name terms with the band though!) it’s a slightly uncomfortable affair for the crowd who all I suspect would prefer to just hear the lead singer, sing! Yet never the less, the ‘‘volunteers’ are applauded for their commitment.

Speaking of applause, if the amount The Hot Soles receive were a base scale for the other artists that played, ice would have been needed to quell what would have been undoubtedly swollen hand by the end of the night.

Titch’s (possibly) pickled review: “Out of two, I’d give them two”

Thank’s for sharing that nugget of gold Titch!

Ancliff’s (semi sober) response: “I admire the ‘bromance’ between the two male band members”

I point out there are ONLY two members in the band and they’re both male.

Ancliff to be fair, argues his point, “Yeah but I admire it!”.

Let’s move on, shall we?

If The Hot Soles were all about good old fashioned grunt, sweat, swagger and soul, then Mad Colours could not be more different.

Comparisons to Hot Club De Paris strike me initially, but Mad Colours offer a different type of sound, and a different type of knitted jumper! A garage band rawness, with aggressively funky bass lines along with lurching, hyper active guitar and sparse, striking percussion, I’m struck at times how much the lead singer sounds like Alex Turner, doing his best Bob Dylan impression. And that is definitely no insult!

At times I sense the band share DNA with Clap Your Hands Say, Yeah, only with more attitude and spit.

Although this attitude is juxtaposed quite effectively and strikingly with their numble request for the crowd to ‘hold hands’, it does actually produce one of the most emotionally resonant moments of the night.

After the unbridled, unabashed riffs of Hot Soles, Mad Colours did themselves proud to alter the mood significantly enough to prepare the crowd for Hey Sholay’s sound, without draining if of energy and enthusiasm.

Ancliff’s (noticably) drunken review: “ They sounded like Vampire Weekend, I liked the bassists enthusiasm”.

I cannot deny either two statements of being too far off the mark both in opinion or observation.

Titch’s (increasingly) sozzled response: “The bass player looked like a pirate, and that’s always a good thing. Good melodies”.

At this point my trust in Titch’s opinion is beginning to wain (the bit about the pirate comparison, not the melodies) but none the less I’ll allow it to stand.

And so, as Hey Sholay enter stage left, the crowd noticeably increases, leaving my fighting for notepad space up against a radiator and blinds.I would like to add that at this point Titch and Ancliff are insisting on calling the band “Hey Shola Ameobi!” (a footballer) and are chanting his name as the crowd surges.

Beginning with a beautifully ambient sample which forms the basis of the track, it develops in to powerfully rhythmic, tribal-esque drumming, adding ‘umph’ and danger to proceedings.

This is succinct, definite and well structure music. Made to made an impact on the body and the mind.

Similarities to Friendly Fires, Jack Peñate and Foals (especially their sophomore effort) are more than a little easy to spot, but if they are your musical bedfellows then what’s to complain about?

After 10 minutes of racking my brains I nearly stab the person in front of me with my pen when I realise the vocal style is strikingly similar to Sam Herlihy’s from the now sadly defunct Hope of the States. In fact, the band’s clear love for complex, layered music bears many of Hope of the States’ hallmarks, but with added Korg Kaossilator!

‘The Bears, The Clocks, The Bees’ have a guitar sound that takes a leaf out of Echo and the Bunnymen’s book of guitar effects, but it’s sentiments, joyous Super Furry Animals inspired sound effects, and gospel inspired chant of “Oh Lord I can change / but I don’t know how to change the clocks” win over any doubters and the crowd becomes enraptured, hanging on the band’s performance.

If Hey Sholay don’t know how to change, then they’ve at least converted me to a fan.

The final track ends with an punk electronica wall of sound explosion, reminiscent of Cut Copy and LCD Soundsystem, building to a hypnotising climax, leaving the crowd part stunned, part deaf and all impressed.

And so, the gig ends and Hey Sholay leave the stage and I am forced to make notes as my openly drunk friends now insist their opinions of Hey Sholay upon me.

Yet as enthusiastic as he was to give his opinion, Titch at this point forgets he is meant to be giving me his own mini review of the band and instead goes to the toilet. This is not a metaphor, I assure you!

Ancliff on the other hand has kept the clearly(!) important issues of the night at the forefront of his mind when he states he “hasn’t seen the bassist’s face all gig”…well noticed, I guess!

I weep and tell them we are going home. They want to stop at McDonald’s.

Words: Fuzz Caminski (and his gang)

The Hot Soles  FacebookTwitterMyspaceReverbnation.

Mad Colours Tumblr. Facebook. Twitter.

Hey Sholay Soundcloud.MyspaceTwitterLast.FmFacebookBlog.

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