The Volcanoes - Hi Fi Club
Live Review

The Volcanoes – Hi Fi Club

One night, four ‘up and coming’ acts, one starkly lit stage. Welcome to the land of the ‘local band showcase’ – a place of borrowed instruments, broodingly partisan fans, and, occasionally, some half-decent music. It is also a place where normal gig rules do not apply: space abounds, band members mix happily with their followers, and the headliners often find themselves playing to less people than the support. Indeed by the time tonight’s top-billing, Volcanoes, rip into an impressively spiky opener – a song about gangsters according to exuberant front-man Samson Bedford – most of the earlier bands’ entourage have huffed off into the night.

The set progresses, and it gradually becomes clear that Volcanoes deserve better. The performance is tight, polished, and defiantly upbeat, while the tunes are, for the most part, equally energetic. Encouragingly it’s the more recent material that impresses most, with songs such as ‘Trick of the Light’ exhibiting a confident, slick, rifftastic sound that set more than a couple of hips a-twitching.

Volcanoes seem determined to chisel out songs in their own style, a style which rarely lets the audience settle into an apathetic indie slumber. Most of tonight’s tracks refuse to stand still, jagging around like a toddler jacked-up on Red Bull, and Bedford’s punchy vocals compliment well. Of course it’s not always without glitch. Halfway through the set we get ‘Kids’, a swoony, minimalist piece of social commentary that charms you musically but never quite transcends its lyrics, which wouldn’t be out of place on a Daily Mail letters page.

A minor gripe, although it’s hard to gripe at all when faced with such enthusiasm. Volcanoes seem to enjoy themselves tonight, and as the gig draws to a close it seems everyone else is too. OK, so it’s more of a gathering than a crowd, the lager’s flat, and the last bus is long gone, but Volcanoes, as it turns out, may well have been worth it.

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