Hey Colossus, The Loft, Southsea, REVIEW: 'Perfect in every sense'

Hey Collusus at The Loft, Southsea. Picture: Paul Windsor
Hey Collusus at The Loft, Southsea. Picture: Paul Windsor

When I arrived at The Loft, even though it was at an early hour to catch the excellent Portsmouth-based support bands, Flybums and Battery Hens, there was barely an ounce of air to breathe in the packed room.

To paraphrase Gordon Gecko: 'Air conditioning is for wimps.’

The Loft is a perfect venue for this type of gig – tatty posters adorn the walls, the corners peeling off, drapes hang forlornly and the carpet is sticky. It's hot, it's sweaty, it's loud. Perfect in every sense.

After covering 11 gigs in eight countries on their current European tour, Hey Colossus return to the UK as a well-oiled machine. Taking to the stage, the six band members are shoehorned into the tiny space.

With barely a hello to the expectant crowd, the band are off at a steady canter, their songs buil ding with candour and ferocity.

Lead singer Paul Sykes has the intensity of Ian Curtis and nonchalance of Mark E Smith. Bassist Joe Thompson picks up the pace and becomes the driving force behind the band's formidable sound. By the time the three – yes, three – guitarists join the party, it's a full on assault on your senses. When the band conclude with a final song appropriately titled Back In The Room, the crowd must have been thinking: 'where did that come from?'

Despite appeals, there is no encore, which is sometimes the best way.