The Hives @ Hammersmith Apollo
23rd November 2007
Friday night in the capital, so what’s a better to spend it than heading to the pub followed by a trip to see the self proclaimed “Greatest Band In The World”? I don’t think there is one personally. After endless excitement from fellow gig goer Steve it the expectations were sky high for my first time seeing them headline indoors.
To wet the crowds appetite opening act whom those who read this review will be familiar with, Quit Your Day Job brought more swedish silliness to London. Somehow they were not well received by the extremely static and hostile crowd. They are a damn stupid, half-naked, electro-trash, comedy band… whats not to love? (well actually the half nakedness in all honesty)
I was really eager to watch Dan Sartain as his previous records have been excellent. Something wasn’t quite right with his performance… maybe it was his lack of a bass guitarist, maybe the lacklustre body language and movement, Unimpressive vocals, or possibly a lack of respect for a crowd who dislike Quit Your Day Job. Who knows? but the wow factor was missing for sure! A huge disappointment on the whole bar 2 back to back blues-by-numbers riffed guitar greats.
Clearly all the drunk louts who I had to shove through to get to the bar earlier were here for one thing! I could tell as they all started to pile into crowd central for the brilliantly ego’d bonanza band that are The Hives! When Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, Nicholaus Arson, Vigilante Carlstroem, Dr. Matt Destruction and Chris Dangerous took the stage to a huge roar they wasted no time in getting the distinctly older crowd of Hammersmith pogoing like a bunch of teeny blink 182 fans on a bouncy castle! Literally each track which piled out of the amps was a true pop classic with the unmistakable hives sound and their infectious garage rock/punky riffs all bundled with mega adrenaline pumping power.
With so many highlights I struggle to name the best, here’s a few off the huge list. Walk Idiot Walk with its stompable strut, racious riffing on Hate To Say I Told You So, stop start sing-a-long Main Offender and Supply & Demand. Yet where they impressed me the most was the delivery of tracks form the latest album which i was a tad quality dubious about before this evening. Clearly with the mellowed out tracks clearly influenced by the hip hop producer Pharrell Williams they added a second string to their mighty bow, T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S. being a great example of this!
Ending the evening on what is sure to become a surefire hit if ever released, the massively hummable tune of Return The Favour. The Hives retreated and the crowd whose spent enough energy to power a small Swedish town for a month straggled out the Apollo well and truly satisfied/shattered (or bruised and limping in Steve’s case, hehe) after a epic performance! The Hives definitely peaked above expectations, if Steve could keep up with us he would probably have said “Hate To Say I Told You So……Alright!“, “No Pun Intended” of course…chuckle chuckle.