I think I’d do well at a pub music quiz.
Even if I do say so myself, I’ve a wide and varied knowledge, but the one round I would fail dismally at is knowing where bands were formed.
For some reason I think every band in the last 30 years all come from Brighton.
But when it comes to tonight’s headliner, I have it firmly ingrained in my head that they hail from Portsmouth; don’t know why, it’s just stuck.
And that’s not the only memorable thing about them.
Recently releasing their debut EP, the six track Reporting Live From The Living Room Floor, Hallan are a complete revelation this evening.
They appear on the tiny-but-lovely Kazimier Stockroom stage brimming with the confidence of a band midway through a tour, who know they’re onto something good.
They are here not just to play us the record, but spoil us with newer (and older) songs as well, finding a set that they can settle on fusing what’s gone and what’s yet to come.
It’s telling that they make mention of one of the previous singles, Modern England, saying that it’s the “ones they don’t like, that get all the streams”, they seem like they are not going to be a band that rests on their laurels.
One of the new songs is about promoters and their general awfulness, but they are keen to stress they don’t mean tonight’s (it’s refreshing to see him in the middle of the crowd enjoying himself as much as anyone).
The undoubted highlight comes mid-set in the form of older single Yesterday (With Him), with it’s singalong la-la-la chorus, you can see this being a bigger room anthem.
Vocals range from an Artics drawl, to a Fall-like spit and rage, whilst musically always interesting.
The sign of a good gig (especially for an act so young) is the moans about what didn’t get played, which tonight includes the single Habit and standout EP track, Television Show, but this is a complaint masquerading as a compliment.
They even get an encore, appreciated by the now very sweaty crowd, Reruns (which aptly features the line “Frasier Crane, Raymond, and Friends season three“, apt as the drummer bears a striking resemblance to Kirby out of Frasier) and Orwell’s Idyllic Future, which sees singer Conor prowl into the audience to deliver their thrilling finale.
It brings to mind a comparison with another band I saw at their very beginning, with a crowd size such as this, with a belief, an almost agitated impatience and a swagger to show that they were going to be huge, and that was Fontaines D.C. (who haven’t done too badly).
That same trajectory is Hallan‘s for the taking.
Catch them now in their pomp(ey).