Sunday, 11 May 2008

Hadouken @ The Sugarmill, Hanley. May 10th.

Review and Photo by Chloe West

Having released debut album ‘Music For An Accelerated Culture’ at the beginning of the week, Hadouken! always receive a mixed reaction. This is probably as they aren’t easy to digest like Snow Patrol or Keane. Youth culture wants something new, different and challenging; not something your mum would listen to over dinner, and the London based five-piece deliver exactly that; moulding grime, pop and new rave.

Recent reviews have stated that Hadouken! no longer keep in touch with the fast-paced scene they derive from; although from the Mill’s response tonight, Hadouken!’s performance definitely did not disappoint. From the first beat of opener, ‘Get Smashed Gate Crash’, the place erupted and the rave didn’t cease for the rest of the set. Second number ‘Liquid Lives’ jovially gives an insight into the drunken antics most town centres experience every weekend, while further on in the set ‘The Bounce’ provoked a huge response with the crowd chanting back, “don’t give up your day job”; a day job the band clearly enjoy.

The calm, collected Alice Spooner’s synth combined with James Smith’s bellowing vocals and the heavy bass line create a self described ‘asbo-disco’. ‘Leap Of Faith’, however, deals with the more complex issues of teenage pregnancy and domestic abuse; it contrasts to the tongue in cheek attitudes of ‘Dance Lessons’, but reveals a darker, more serious element to the band’s talents. Ending with ‘That Boy That Girl’, their first single fitted well after an intense cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Breathe’. Also the album starter, ‘That Boy That Girl’ has now been unfairly described as a ‘dusty relic’; yet it certainly ended the set in the same fresh and furious manner as on hearing it at the start of last year.

The overall atmosphere can only be explained by the amount of sweat lining the walls afterwards; which I was unfortunate enough to put my hand into. I’m sure there were plenty of dehydrated Hadouken! fans strewn around Stoke tonight.

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