I’ve seen Hookworms many times now, and I’ve seen them quite a few times at the always excellent Brudenell; but this felt like something different. This was the launch gig for the band’s second, excellent, album The Hum (you can read my review of it here) which, in my opinion, has cemented the band’s position as one of the best leftfield groups in the country.
And here they were in their natural habitat, where they seem to feel most at home, the local Kirkstall Brewery had even done a beer in their honour. I was disappointed to have been away during the band’s recent tour, so this was the first time I’d seen them since January and I was interested to see whether they had continued to develop as a live act; as they seem to every time I see them.
The answer from my perspective is a definite yes. Opening, as they most often do, with ‘Away/ Towards’ I detected a greater confidence, more nuance and control in the opening section before exploding into the chaos that makes this track utterly memorable every time you witness it. From there Hookworms delivered a hugely enjoyable and high octane performance with some amazing highs, most notably for me ‘Impasse’, ‘Radio Tokyo’, Teen Dreams’ and ‘On Leaving’; all of which were visceral, vibrant and volcanic. Slower numbers such as ‘Off Screen’ showed that Hookworms are not a ‘one trick pony’ of speed and fuzz.
At the end the band left the stage to triumphant ovation from a packed crowd who clearly wanted more. We were left hungry, but surely that is the best way to end a gig and no doubt the band will be back again before too long. I will be, and I’m still enjoying the music; and the branded coffee beans they were selling on the night.
You can find more Psych Insights by Simon Delic here.
Here are a few pics I took on the night, click on any of them to view the full gallery
Hookworms are embarking on a North American tour next year, see below for details – you don’t want to miss them: