The Hedrons at Night and Day in Manchester
Night and Day is a nice little venue. An eclectic bar that feels like a cross between a ballroom and a sleazy L.A. Bar. Despite being light outside, it's certainly dark and moody inside. A good setting for the Hedrons. The feeling of anticipation certainly built up and up. And no wonder. Since leaving their homeland of Scotland, the Hedrons have been extremely busy with Download, T in the Park and Guilfest performances under their belts. I felt lucky to see them perform at Download and wondered whether or not their excellent performance would be repeated. I was not disappointed.
For these new to the Hedrons, their style is slightly Ramones-esque with hints of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Certainly, there's some slight pop overtones; they are more accessible than say, McQueen, but this does not detract from their rock image. The band have just released their first single, "Be my Friend" which gives a good indication of their style and talent.
After some interesting Drum 'n Bass, Rap stylings from a band called the Starfighters, the Hedrons take to the stage. Sitting in on the interview before the performance certainly made me appreciate the sheer gutsy-ness of this band. The confidence, swagger and indeed, the sweat pouring off Tipi really made me feel that this band has the rock and roll passion needed to be successful.
I felt the crowd did not do the band justice. The venue was by no means packed. People seemed more interested in the support acts which seemed somewhat unfair. With just shy of 100 people in the club, the crowd reaction was never going to be intense. This didn't slow the band down at all. Tippi is well known for strutting her stuff all around the stage, and off it. But this time, the entire band had the moves and the presence; the bassist in particular, didn't stand still once. At one point I felt she was going to go for a stage dive!
The sound was great but it could have been better. The performance was as good, if not better than the recordings. "I couldn't leave her alone" sounded particularly good. Tippi certainly made good use of her brand new guitar. But the lead guitarist's set-up left me begging for more volume and clarity. Rosie is clearly, a very talented guitarist. Her solo work looks very impressive but it never seems to be very clear. There were other mixing problems too, with Tippi's high notes being somewhat painful in places and the bass suddenly cutting out for a few minutes.
Those issues aside, the Hedrons played a great set, each member proving the fact that they are talented and enjoy what they do. The Hedrons finished the set with a long, instrumental wall of sound, walking off stage to a well earned round of applause.