Her’s – The Hope & Ruin – 17th November 2017

Her’s – The Hope & Ruin
Photo by Liam McMillen

Her’s are a two-piece from Liverpool but, really, they’re a four-piece. The other two members? One, is the use of a drum machine, which could be the greatest use of a drum machine I’ve ever seen. It’s in no way artificial and seems to enhance the band rather than disguise the fact they don’t have a drummer. The second? Well that would be a cardboard cutout of Pierce Brosnan from his James Bond days, and it certainly sets a tone for the evening: funny, whimsical, highly entertaining with a licence to thrill.

Supporting on the night were Brighton band Swoon, who, it must be said, were not the right band to support on the night. Boasting a four-piece band, they’re a strange concept as most of their sound seems to be coming from a laptop rather than the instruments they’re actually playing on stage. Frontwoman Alice Guala is excellent, however. She dominates the stage and her voice is powerful and seductive.

Opening with the one-two double whammy of ‘Dorothy’ and ‘Marcel’, which Her’s describe as being like an old married couple, is an excellent start to the gig. Fast-paced, lucid and dreamy, they’re excellent slices of pop brimming with fanciful guitar and throbbing bass. Strangely enough, though, it’s not the music that makes Her’s stand out from a very packed crowd. Their live show feels like an entertainment show, rather than just a music gig. There’s the previously mentioned cardboard cutout of Pierce Brosnan, but there’s also a lot of benign, simply pointless chat that heightens the evening. Whether they’re taking the piss out of Morrissey, warning the crowd about people boiling their underwear in Travelodges, or simply pulling silly faces, they’re a delightful duo that could easily take the Edinburgh Fringe by storm.

They’re clearly having the time of their lives up on stage, too. Bassist Audun Laading seems to be bouncing around off of his own basslines, whereas singer Stephen Fitzpatrick is much more docile, focussing on his Kevin Parker-esque vocal range and ace riffs. There’s moments where they both appear to go off-script and jam together. In fact, the whole gig feels outrageously natural, like you’re peeking in on jam sessions and watching the magic happen. Their chemistry is endearingly charming. They love playing together and it benefits their live show.

They also debuted some new songs, which Fitzpatrick introduced with “Don’t get your hopes up about them being released” because they’re “dead shit”. Of course, they’re not though. Both remained nameless, but they’re very much more of the same in regards to their eight-track record Songs of Her’s. They’re jangly, bass-heavy and clinking indie songs that predominantly focus on Fitzpatrick’s high-pitched baritone voice.

Her’s seem like a variety act, except they’re not a jack of all trades and a master of none. They’re very funny men, but their music is astounding too. The likes of ‘Speed Racer’, ‘What Once Was’ and ‘Cool With You’ are daring, foolhardy, but simply excellent portions of dream-pop. So much of music is so serious nowadays, and Her’s feel like anarchists in comparison with their approach. It’s a refreshing combination of infectious fun, great tunes and two men that love what they’re doing.

Liam McMillen

Website: thatbandofhers.com
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