Review | The Howlers at The Edge of The Wedge, Southsea: 'Attitude and swagger to spare'

The Howlers’ frontman Adam Young has got to wonder if the universe has got it in for him.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 5:43 pm
The Howlers at The Edge of The Wedge, Southsea on November 24, 2021. Picture by Chirs Broom

This year Young has had a stroke – which he has thankfully made a good recovery from – then while on this tour he has been involved in a car crash, and then in a separate incident has also been hit by a car.

As such it’s nice to see him just make it to his hometown show in more-or-less one piece.

The trio, who met while studying in London, have lost count of how many times this tour has been postponed over the past two years thanks to the pandemic.

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But away from being unable to play live, their music has been getting out there thanks to usage on high profile TV shows as diverse as Match of The Day and hit US comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Their singles have also garnered airplay on Radio One, 6Music and Radio X.

The band describe their music as ‘desert rock’, but this is more Nevada than Sahara.

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They’ve got some of the twang of The Byrds, with a touch of the Queens of The Stone Age’s heaviness. And while Young sings and plays guitar, the rhythm section of bassist Gus ter Braak and drummer Cam Black keep things firmly rooted.

The band’s restless spirit is demonstrated in just how much of tonight’s set is new. They’ve kept a few key tracks from before the pandemic, but even at first listen the new material has still got attitude and swagger to spare.

Former singles I Don’t Love You All The Time and La Dolce Vita are high points.

We even get to sing happy birthday to Young’s dad – who is in the audience on his 60th birthday.

At the end the guys have nothing left to play as an encore, but the crowd wants more so Young busks a solo track to ‘send us off home to bed.’

If there’s any justice they’ll soon be playing much bigger venues than The Edge.

With four guitars up front, openers Sierpinski operate at the heavier end of the shoegaze spectrum – it’s heady stuff, and worth delving into.

Brighton’s Les Bods look like they’ve stepped straight out of the, ’70s and play psyche/garage-rock to match. Good fun stuff.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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