WORDS AND IMAGES BILLY SEAGRAVE
All Music UK’s Billy Seagrave made his way to the Academy to cover The Hara who refuses to be pigeonholed, their ‘genre fluid’ music sees them continue to break new ground sonically.
First up are alternative newcomers “Call Me Amour” formed on the Isle of Man with their industrial style electronic influences and pop punk undertones. mixing dark electronica with sonic guitars, they craft their music to evoke emotion to inspire and be inspired. Playing tracks from their latest album, Blackout which is described by frontman Harry Radford as “…about losing yourself in the sufferings of life, whether it be an addiction, heartache, loss, or depression. Getting it out on a page or a song can be the best release.” They go down well with the crowd, receiving plenty of positive feedback
Next up are Snayx, (Snakes), Charlie, (Vocals), (crowd whisperer), and Ollie, (bass/Guitar) Snayx have been making huge waves on the live scene, gaining a boisterous live reputation. Having just released the excellent EP, Weaponised Youth: Part 1. The Alt Punk Rockers are high impact, high energy and highly interactive from start to finish. Lyrically Kid Kapachi comes to the fore, politically on point, with huge punk undertones, but most of all they make it feel like party time.
Opening with the thumping, “Work”, it was an explosive start, the duo constantly work the crowd, and Ollie tries to fire up individuals as Charlie leans as close to the crowd from the stage to make sure, the transition to the barrier is a simple one, all this mayhem at breakneck speed. We helter-skelter through “Cigarette”, “H.A.N.G” & the fantastic “Boys in Blue” with Charlie spending as much time amongst the crowd as on stage. A cover of “We Like To Party” from the Venga Boys, certainly livens things up, and a jaw-dropping and fantastic cover of The Prodigy’s “Breathe”, really did bring the house down, We round off with Snayx’s signature party anthem “FAYX”, whilst the crowd was bouncing, with what looked like an impromptu stage invasion from the opening act, the stage was literally bouncing as well, what a performance and what a band.
The Hara are Josh Taylor (frontman), Zack Breen (guitar) & Jack Kennedy (drums). They have carved out a loyal following and developed a stage presence that is seeing them get the accolades they rightly deserve. I first stumbled upon the band at “Neighbourhood Weekender”, in Warrington a few years ago, as I made my way from mainstage heading across to the big top stage, I was passing the Viola Beach stage, where The Hara had just begun their performance, right from the off they had my attention, as they did with the rest of the crowd on that day, so for me, it is a chance to see the progress in real-time.
What I have learnt as they have developed is they have a passion, for performing, everything is carefully put in place, and it’s not just a gig its an invitation, to join the mayhem, we have a full 90-minute set, no let-up, a full-on assault of the senses. A large screen at the back of the stage comes to life and starts downloading, in a very retro, street fighter mode, we then have an introduction from the devil, “Autobiography”, “Off The Edge”, and “Fire”, gives us a quick-fire start, which also sees Josh, disappear over the barrier and into his first crowd surf of the evening.
The band are relishing playing their biggest headline gig to date, here in their hometown of Manchester, something that is not lost on a raucous crowd. Whilst the band are showcasing their debut album, “Survival Mode”, these fans that have been with them from the start, and go crazy when treated to tracks from early EPs, “Fool and The Thief”, “FYI”, whilst’ “We All Wear Black”, and “Off The Edge”, are becoming staple crowd favourites.
As with tonight’s support acts, a connection between the band and the crowd is as essential. Josh is a demon of a performer, constantly on the move, always reaching out to the crowd. None of it is forced or manufactured, it’s a two-way commitment, between performer and fans. As the set developed the simmering crowd was brought to the boil with the last offering, “Friends”, the crowd have played their part, but it is the band that has delivered, it won’t be long before bigger venues are needed to play host to this rapidly growing band.
2/ Off the Edge
4/ Until It Happens
5/ Died in My Twenties
6/ We All Wear Black
8/ Okay That’s Me
10/ Play My Game
11/ Talk to the Manager
12/ Black Soul Ceremony
13/ Fool & The Thief
14/ Die in the City
FOLLOW THE HARA
FOLLOW CALL ME ARMOUR