Hippo Campus – Concorde 2, Brighton – 24th February 2019

Hippo Campus
Photo by Joe Boothby

After the release of their latest album back in 2018 titled Bambi, the next step for indie champions Hippo Campus was obviously to commence a tour in celebration of the recent record. Thankfully for us, this tour would take the band to Brighton’s Concorde 2, a city full of great indie culture, which would have the pleasure of welcoming one of America’s finest bands of the genre.

The matrimony of indie love was apparent from the very moment I arrived. It seemed that almost everybody who brought a ticket for this show arrived nice and early before doors were opened to them. The audience was made up of a diverse range of different people from different walks of life, which showed that Hippo Campus were a group with a wide demographic. What felt so great about this was that no matter how many different types of people there were, they were all united at Concorde 2 for the same reason: a marvellous evening of top-notch tunes.

Marvellous is the perfect way to describe the first and only support act Lauran Hibberd. They had a very friendly and outgoing stage presence through and through and engaged very well with the crowd which, in turn, set a very nice mood for the evening.

As for their music, it was brilliantly straight forward. There was no unnecessary technicality. Just the band and their instruments playing brilliantly authentic and catchy anthems. If I was to compare Lauran Hibbard to another artist, then I’d maybe say they are somewhat similar to Black Honey, but far more raw and merry aesthetically. They wowed me and a tonne of other people watching with the warm and colourful mood created by their music.

People in the crowd certainly didn’t want to head off anywhere in the interval between Lauran Hibberd’s set and the one we would later see from Hippo Campus. Once the band was ready to begin, they fittingly started it off with their latest album’s title track. Being one of their most popular hits currently, this was also a very good song choice when it came to starting the set off strong.

I must say that to witness a live set from Hippo Campus really does make a huge difference. It seemed to carry even more depth than if you were to listen to their music on record and felt even more refined and layered. It was clear to me that the band wanted to bring fans a live experience that stands out, which was furthered by their secret weapon in the form of a trumpeter, whose seamless playing gave their live tracks an added layer of grandeur and wondrousness. The overall serenity and indulgence that came with the band’s live music enlightened everybody who was fortunate enough to be there.

It goes without saying that Hippo Campus absolutely championed the indie aesthetic with their set without coming off as high and mighty in the slightest. In fact, they seemed to be very humble to perform at the Concorde 2 and enjoyed the evening as much as the crowd.

I thoroughly enjoyed this colourful, glistening and vibrant night of some of the most infatuating indie music I’ve heard live. Having seen so many heavy acts at Concorde 2 over the years, it was great to see that the venue really did both acts justice when it came to assisting them visually. All of the effort from both the venue and the artists all came together perfectly to make an evening that Brighton won’t soon forget.

Joe Boothby

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