Howler tonight, presented by the Fly Magazine, we have seen this band before at the XOYO, people rave about them, but we weren’t too impressed the first time. So Neil and I decided to give them another try. They are playing the Garage tonight, I do hope they have a good Soundy and Lampy today, it can be a bit hit and miss.
Neil went off to get a couple of drinks and a packet of crisps, missed out on dinner again, I should be skinny as a rake…lol…but something isn’t working here!!  He comes back after what seemed ages, I thought he had run out on me finally? No, here he is with crisps, extortionately prices apparently (the Garage isn’t know for reasonable bar prices) and a story to tell: When he went to the bar and ask for crisps, the young lady behind, Marthe, said to wait a minute she has to go and get some. Well, talking about above and beyond the call of duty, she had to go out of the building to go back in at the front and get some from the other bar, the same on the way back……thank you Marthe, that is customer service at it’s best. You should get a bonus!! 🙂

We got there a bit late, doors were already open so we walked straight in. Surprisingly it wasn’t busy at all. Plenty of room at the barriers, so we took up residence just off the center front. We did spot a poster on the way in, 2 support bands today. One is fiN and the other Hooded Fang.
I don’t know Hooded Fang at all but we have come across fiN a few times when they were supporting MONA on their last tour, see Mona blog.
I must admit I wasn’t taken by them at all and was curious if today was going to be the day they changed my mind.

The stage was set and fiN came on stage, I wondered how they going to do all their jumping about on that small stage, I soon found out, just smaller! I have to admit they sounded better then I remembered, maybe they have evolved a little. I still can’t quite get the connections between their dance style and music, it just doesn’t seem to gel. Luke Joyce the lead singer does the “jump off the stage and climb up the barriers”, quite similar to the Nick Brown antics from MONA, but the effect wasn’t quite the same, the girls leaned back rather then trying to touch him. A good effort, but not for me…yet!!

Next up was Hooded Fangs, a band from Toronto, funny really, I have come across quite a few Canadian bands recently and liked most of them. 3 guys and a girl come on stage, I like their sound it’s indie rock with a touch of pop in there, it’s catchy and lively. I’m not familiar with their songs, so I can’t really let you which ones were played, but I liked them, needs to be checked out a bit more.

Last but not least it is Howler’s turn, once they appear on stage I get reminded how very young they are. I would be surprised if any of them are a day over 20. Howler has had some great reviews, and looking around the room quite a following too. For me though they are not quite hitting the spot yet, I agree there is potential and they giving their all on stage, but I feel it is early days yet. I also could have sworn that they had an extra band member when I saw them at the XOYO. They come across confident and perform well, the song ” Back of your Neck” does get a great sing-along moment, again I’m not that familiar with their songs, so I pass on the sing-along….lol, probably a good thing. A young boy climbed the barrier and joined them on stage, while one got escorted off the other one stood cheekily next to the lead singer to take a photo of the crowd. I bet he took pleasure telling his mates about the gig. I have to say Howler coped well, didn’t let themselves be distracted at all. There are 11 songs on their debut album “America Give Up“, and that is basically what they played. The lead singer also jumps off the stage and leans into the crowd to be pawed by many young girls hands……this is becoming a bit fashionable with bands at the moment, I wonder what will come next…! I’m afraid I can’t say much more, they were fine and with a little more maturity and experience they may produce a few more albums, but I’m not going to be a mega fan. But good luck boys, only because you not for me doesn’t mean you wont go far…..keep at it!


About FrontRowStef

Following months of putting in the necessary hours of research, I have been bullied into writing a blog about my gig experiences! I can’t claim in-depth technical musical knowledge, or a massive CD collection, but, I know what I like and what doesn’t sound good in a live setting. I’m not intending to write great reviews about bands, but more of stuff that happen to me while out and about. Like when a dear friend of mine pointed out that it looks like I’m putting my towel down when I hit the barriers at the front and claim my spot with my jacket draped over the railings. What does he mean? Is it because I’m German? Enough introductions, you will get to know me sooner or later! Oh and apparently I’m going to be referred to as Front Row Stef, simply because that is my rightful place!

One response »

  1. Martina Weidmann says:

    Ok …. Not much to say here …. Keep on boys and Steffi the same ! I am with you still !

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