Oxford O2 Academy, 5th April 2009
After interviewing guitarist Larry Hibbit before the show tonight, I had mixed expectations for tonight’s show and for some reason I had the distinct feeling that I was going to be disappointed - the main reason being that the band’s 3rd album ‘Quick The Word, Sharp The Action’ being re-released this month, and I wasn’t really a huge fan of it first time round.
It lacks a certain amount of the excitement that was instilled within me after every listen of ‘Ideas Above Our Station’ or ‘Kill Your Own’, and perhaps the fear of that being delivered in a live setting was going to put me off too? Anyway, you don’t need to know the reasons behind my doubts - the hangover from the night before was probably the real reason for the sinking feeling in my stomach. All you do need to know is that (for the most part at least) I was wrong.
Whilst the newer material didn’t quite captivate me as much as the oldies, the band showed themselves off as great musicians and played an excellent set. ‘Kill Your Own’, title track from album number 3 sounded nothing short of epic and personal favourite of mine ‘If I Could’ managed to transport me back to the age of 17 again. Although the connection between band and crowd that I used to be able to instantly recognise at H*R shows isn’t really on display tonight, the band still play a great set and successfully manage to entertain the crowd here tonight. I shall definitely try and catch them again, but this time without the hangover.