by / May 7th, 2014 /

State Faces of May live report

Although we do pride ourselves on presenting an eclectic bill at our monthly Faces live shows, even we have to admit that our latest outing mixed things up to a fair degree. Sights Distorted are playing their first gig in over a year but return to action with gusto. A electronic / industrial trio powered by the battering drums of Dave Hanratty, it’s dark stuff but also draws you in thanks to a short, sharp succession of snarling songs. Let’s hope they don’t leave it so long next time. In comparison, The Ground Will Shake clearly have some experience under their belts. Their sound is well worn, drawing elements from classic ’50s rock ‘n’ roll and its Clash era reinvention, yet they sound as fresh as a daisy. Style such as this never goes out of fashion and, as they stomp their way through thirty minutes, it’s clear that they fit nicely into this musical lineage.

Our final guests are so keen to get going that one of them tumbles onto stage before we’ve even had a chance to introduce them. The young man in question is Jessy Rose and he catches us unaware by picking up an electric guitar and performing a sweet solo number before calling his Hare Squead bandmates up one by one. It’s a neat trick and one that builds a sense of anticipation in a venue that probably doesn’t always encourage such displays of showmanship. It’s just the start of what proves to be an all singing, all dancing, all superb set. While there recorded output so far would suggest a band firmly in the pop / rap mode, live they explode. The addition of a full band including Led Zep T-shirt wearing guitarist and cool as you like rhythm section helps no end, but it’s the front trio who are the stars of the show. Their enthusiasm is utterly infectious, yet they still handle themselves with a style beyond their teenage years. Moving from hip-hop to reggae, rock and pop with ease, it’s a hugely impressive showing. Starting to move in circles outside of their established teen audience (tonight they’ve already supported Big Daddy Kane at the Sugar Club) Hare Squead have the potential to go a long, long way. Make the most of intimate shows like this while you can, they might well be a thing of the past very soon.

Photos: Kieran Frost