It Hugs Back at The Borderline

18th June 2010 – 5.51 pm

It's been a while since I saw It Hugs Back support Holy Fuck at the Scala. I buy their album on the night and it becomes one of my favourites of last year, the breezy shoegazing pop music really appealing to me. It can be hard to follow smaller bands, particularly when they may not last much past a debut album, and I occasionally check the website for It Hugs Back and join the mailing list. But it is opportunistically trawling through a ticket agency's page of bands playing gigs that I notice It Hugs Back are playing the Borderline. I am even luckier than I think to spot it because the band are only playing support and it is not usual for support acts to be listed separately. I snap up a ticket for The Helios Sequence, the headlining band.

I head in to London relatively early, to ensure that I will see It Hugs Back. It would be unfortunate to want to see a support band and then turn up too late. I am early enough to see the some of High Wire before It Hugs Back start setting up for their set, and I am actually quite excited. I remember enjoying their live set when I knew nothing about them and this time I have familiarity with their songs to enhance the experience. And, unlike the last time I was here, when Blitzen Trapper pack The Borderline, there is a surprising amount of room, the venue not even half-full. This just gives me a better view of the band as they juxtapose fuzzy guitars with wispy vocals.

'This is our first gig with new drummer Will', announces guitarist and vocalist Matt half-way through the set to some cheers and applause. 'Only one gig and already you're more popular than the rest of us', he continues mockingly. I don't recognise many of the songs, but they are all excellent. A couple of tracks from the album are played, which gets my head bobbing appreciatively, even if the sound levels don't quite favour the organ tonight. It is only a short set, being a support band, and before the last song Matt points out that they have 'some CDs at the back. Well, just the one CD, but several copies of it'.

I checked the promotions table earlier and only saw Inside Your Guitar for sale, their first album, so assumed the set list would be mostly from that album. But I also don't have their early singles, quite limited in number, and my assumption that It Hugs Back are mostly previewing new material turns out to be misguided. A chat with the bassist Paul after the gig reveals that the final two songs of the set are brand new, worked on only that week as their first new material with their new drummer. A second album will be forthcoming but they've been on a break and are only just starting to write more songs. I look forwards to hearing more from It Hugs Back, both recorded material as well as hopefully more gigs.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.