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  • Trudy and the Romance
  • Honey Moon
Arts Club 17/10/18

HER’S have tapped into some kind of magic. The Arts Club loft is bustling amid a flurry of dungarees and beanies for their sold-out show tonight. The first show on UK leg of their tour, Her’s make a stop in their hometown. The bill contains two of the most exciting Liverpool bands of the past year, with their last appearance together being over a year ago in EBGBS basement.

Opening the night are Her’s labelmates HONEY MOON, a snug fit on the bill, blending the sounds of dream-pop with 60s doo-wop. At any other gig in Liverpool, brandishing a large Beatles tapestry onstage would come off quite tacky, but tonight is an exception. Honey Moon relish in the tongue-and-cheek at times, like on the sarcastic love song (Why Do You Think You’re So) Special? Frontman Jack Slater Chandler’s stratospheric vocal range combined with the horn finale is spectacular. It aches for a full real-life brass section to join them onstage.

TRUDY AND THE ROMANCE bring a bit of grit to the night. Trudy can go from heart-breaking ballad to roaring, pounding rock ‘n’ roll in an instant. Frontman and guitarist Oliver Taylor reminds me of a young James Brown, at one moment softly crooning and the next shrieking like a possessed preacher on Sunday – all the while smiling ear-to-ear. Baby I’m Blue is the perfect example of this, seeing Taylor howl and interweave intricate Wes Montgomery style guitar is something to behold. The band’s energy is a refreshing change from the stereotype of indie bands being too-cool to anything other than sulk. It’s contagious, and the crowd is not afraid to sing along to the dazzling closer Is There A Place I Can Go.

You know that tired cliché about indie kids going to gigs; arms crossed, straight faced, standing against the wall? That is nowhere to be seen as Her’s take the stage. A warm wave of euphoria washes over the crowd as they launch into cuts from their latest album. Tracks like Harvey sound familiar, with frontman Stephen Fitzpatrick’s melodies like something you remember from a dream, or one you once knew as a child. Bassist Audun Laading can’t help from dancing around the stage when the drum machine kicks in, as if he is doing the tango with his instrument. It’s somewhat bizarre to see a band lacking a drummer play with such energy and joy. In between impromptu renditions of Happy Birthday and Robbie Williams’ She’s The One comes tracks like Dorothy and What Once Was. For me, the perfect pop song is supposed to make you want to dance and cry at the same time. These songs do just that.

I haven’t seen two bands look more exhilarated to be on stage in quite a long time. News of Her’s and Trudy returning to SXSW 2019 rolled in right before their stage times today; one explanation for their added buzz. Give ‘em hell, boys.

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