What’s Your Vice @ The Hope
5 acts in one night is interesting. 5 great acts in one night is brilliant. The Hope was filled to the brim in store for an evening that spanned several genres and performances, whilst remaining universally entertaining.
The evening began with parody rapper MC Cashback and his culinary arsenal of musical dishes. Tracks ranged from simple sandwiches and jerky chicken to lasagne and lamb tagine. The comedic set was held together by Cashback’s chirpy persona and overwhelming sense of fun, even launching a naan bread into the audience mid track. Sure there something quite karaoke about choosing songs off an iPod to play, but then for such a parody album, how can you expect anything less. And anyway, anyone that can sound as angry about overcooking potatoes is probably not worth provoking.
Time For T, or as they’re potentially now known Time for T & The Biscuits’ set soon began with an 8 minute ‘medley’ from their front man. All twang, scat and rhythm the rendition provided a delightful beginning whilst the rest of the band finished their pints and took position. What followed was an impressively considered and refined debut performance. The new instrumental elements brought a wealth to Time For T’s previous tracks and set highlights Vegetable and Tornado. Icarus Youth after them also provided an impressive performance, albeit in an entirely different direction. A no holds barred rendition of hit track ‘Why’ with an energy only surpassed by the frenetic hand gestures of lead Will Whiting immediately cemented the audiences attention. Not willing to give step it down a notch, they progressed down a darker route of howling guitar and anguished yells. The cross genre versatility, from dark ambience and angered howls to grime infused verses was a scintillating spectacle that left the crowd baying for more.
From Icarus Youth’s self described ‘Rock & Rhyme’ to Live Like Kings unabashed Rock & Roll. Keeping things simple front man Adam O’ Neill reneged on his usual guitar/vocal combo to instead face the crowd head on. Their raw sound found the crowd instantly engaged by the captivating performance. With the news that a new EP was on the horizon the band soon descended into the raucous maelstrom of their newly honed set list, including a fun new The Who cover. It was an early track however, ‘Harmony’, a dedication to the front man’s daughter that became the set’s highlight. A whirling furor of guitar riffs, chaotic chorus’ and overdrive that that unleashed a new wave of excitement from which the rest of the set only added fuel to.
And so was the tone was set for headliners What’s Your Vice. Their relatively static performance contrasted with their product, an electrifying amalgam of garage electro. A curious juxtaposition that in some ways hampered their performance, yet in others brought the focus resolutely onto the music which thankfully was as on point as the audience had come to expect. Whether this was a conscious decision, or a result of too many late nights and hang overs is uncertain. The performance was still enjoyable for all, particularly the real fans singing along alongside the stage, but the feeling of ‘what could have been’ was never too far behind. Nevertheless, after such a great night for local music, it would’ve taken far more to dampen the spirits of all those present.