Experimental Music Love

January 8, 2008

Hope of the States – Glasgow King Tut’s 30/03/06

Filed under: Live Reviews — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 6:52 pm



‘You’re almost as good as Arcade Fire,’ yells one over exuberant fan in Scotland’s most pleasantly intimate venue, and, as true as this statement is, these waist coat clad Chichester post rockers can still put on a show worth the hassle of traveling all the way from the Borders with only some pleb at Ticketmaster’s word that his name will be on the guest list.

Not as theatrically minded as those wonderful, orchestral French Canadians, whose crash helmeted antics on their shows last year upstaged the likes of U2 and Franz Ferdinand, Hope of the States rely on some glorious post rock blues and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere to keep the 300 or so here entertained.

Sold out for weeks, Hope of the States have built up a rather large and dedicated underground following who took their tragically majestic debut to their hearts, but with a new album out in a few weeks, the boys started with two new numbers. With such attempts to describe the sound of their new work including ‘Joy Division gone disco’ I was eager to hear this new material. And it is promising. It’s more confined and restrained than much of the ‘Lost Riots’ focusing on solid pop/rock melodies rather than any ambitious attempts to be Mozart.

Calls from the crowd follow, with the band being asked for something everybody knows. A suggestion of ‘It’s Chico Time’ is sadly rejected by Sam Herlihy, instead opting for the anthemic ‘The Red, The White, The Black, The Blue,’ his distinct voice growling out this epic rant like no other could.

Impeccably dressed, with similarly stylish boots adorning the feet of the members, the band certainly look good on stage, and they are comfortable with it. Herlihy isn’t afraid to stop proceedings to pay attention to the fans. A lucky girl makes her way past he security to be welcomed by Herlihy for a photo opportunity, and ‘Eddie’ indulges in a lengthy chat with the star about past meetings (seemingly forgot by Herlihy), before eventually deciding to be quiet once the opening ripples of latest single ‘Blood Meridian’ trickle out from the speakers.

Other new songs impress greatly, especially ‘Sing It Out’ and the beautiful ‘The Church Choir,’ sounding as holy as its name. Material from their eponymous debit consists mainly of the singles. Many of the audience indulge in the heady delight of singing along to the joyous wonders that are ‘Enemies/Friends’ and ‘Nehemiah’ but it’s ‘Black Dollar Bills’ that steals the show. The greatest piece of music this side of Ok Computer, so magical on record, has to be heard live to appreciate its raw, emotional impact. Live favourite ‘Static in the City’ ends proceedings in a similarly epic way, with all six musicians contributing to the cacophonous wall of noise that engulfs the crowd. Mind blowing, heart melting, life affirming (and various other cliches) stuff.


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