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

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

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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.