Watford 4-piece The Hunna hit Leeds on the latest night of their UK tour, lighting up the Student Union at Leeds Beckett. We were a few days away from the release of their new Gil Norton-produced fourth record, which drops today (28.10.22), and they have been out on the road to share this new music with fans, ahead of the release date.
It’s a sold out crowd, 1000 people packed into the room, who have come out eagerly anticipating the new music, some of which they’ve never had chance to hear before. It makes for an interesting vibe. What could potentially be a little self-indulgent – just running through unreleased stuff for the bulk of the show – seems to come instead from a genuine desire to involve their fans in the new music as soon as possible, giving them a jump on what’s to come.
What it does mean though is that the atmosphere in a few of the early songs is a little flat, although at the end of each number, there’s a warm reception. This however takes a turn for the better with Take a Ride, a full on “pedal to the metal” banger which ignites the crowd. This continues into Sold My Soul and from then on, the crowd are fully on the ride with The Hunna.
There’s some great chat from Ryan Potter (lead vocals and guitar), talking the crowd through some of the newer songs, explaining the stories behind them (You Can’t Sit With Us – taken straight out of Mean Girls) and revealing a long held love for Busted and in particular Charlie Simpson, who features on Sick on the new self-titled album.
It’s a set that accelerates as it goes on. Ryan is standing on the barriers, into the crowd, who are sitting on shoulders towards the end. It’s a well constructed set (and by definition, album, seeing as the track list is the same order as the set list) which brings everyone along for the ride. Closing the main set with The Calm (we had begun with The Storm!), it allows the band and crowd to reflect on the quality of what they’ve just experienced, before being launched into an encore of Hunna classics.
Already booked on to some of Summer 2023s festivals, this is a band should continue to rise to the upper ends of those bills. Their catalogue carries more than enough firepower to energise a crowd who’ve spent several hours standing in muddy fields. The new record which we’ve heard in its entirety adds to that arsenal, ready to shoot crowds into the stratosphere next summer.
Find A Way Out (Back to You)
Take A Ride (Lights, Camera, Action)
Sold My Soul
You Can’t Sit With Us
Babe Can I Call
Can’t Break What’s Broken