The Hare and Hounds – May 23rd 2012
As evening set in at the end of a scorching day in the Midlands, the beer tasted especially good for The Carpels who had graduated college that afternoon. Chilling outside the Hare and Hounds, pint in hand, socks pulled up to the shin and looking every bit the indie frontman, Dylan Williams did not display any signs of nerves ahead of opening the stage for Poppy & the Jezebels.
Not having been to the Hare and Hounds before I was surprised by the intimacy of the space, and with people still squeezing in, the Birmingham based quintet began their set with a new bassist in the line-up looking very pleased to be there. Initially the crowd remained relatively static but were transformed by the anthemic nature of Williams’ vocals over an isolated bass drum on their track ‘Khan’, building to the most frenetic of guitar riffs at its climax. Switching to and fro from a guitar and synth focus Williams remained the focal point of the band’s energy, steering clear of the often awkward pre track storytelling to deliver the songs at a pace which really swept the crowd along.
Seizing the chance to perform some of their newest material the band were rewarded with a strong response to ‘Towelie’, a track on which every band member proved their instrumental adeptness. The quality of the sound in the small venue served to highlight their playing ability and once their relatively short set came to an end The Carpels left the stage to great support. All in all then an accomplished set from a band that won’t be playing such small and cosy venues for long.
Written by Joe West