Friday, 31 January 2020

The Howl And The Hum / Bull / Amy May Ellis - Hebden Bridge Trades Club - 29th January 2020


The Howl And The Hum played Hebden Bridge Trades Club on Wednesday night as the finest independent venue in the country (in our Editor's humble opinion) played host to one of the most exciting emerging bands around supported by Bull and Amy May Ellis.

Amy opens up the evening, ukulele in hand, soft voice emanating from her heart, with soulful music echoing through the halls of the prestigious Trades Club. Her next song introduces her friend on the double bass. This adds low undertones, and elevated the light music to another level. The audience is respectfully silent during her songs as they are hanging on her every word.  The ukulele makes a return a few songs later whilst the double bass is played with pure passion. As the double bassist leaves the stage and it’s revealed that he’s a member The Howl And The Hum.


Amy’s charming interlude between songs runs in to a beautiful tune, sung in near darkness apart from the rare spot of light. Simple chords and elegant vocal abilities make for a heart-warming performance. Her last song is dedicated to Tony and Alex, two recently deceased individuals who obviously mean a lot to the singer, as is shown by the fact that she can barely hold back her tears during the final song.

Bull come on next, and after a second take start, they get in to their pop rock tunes full of  electric guitar riffs and harmonising vocals. The pop-rock turns quickly in to heavy rock vibes with high-pitched vocals, reminiscent of Blink-182. Then the lead singer adds a flute to the mix, and it fails, so he resorts to a mouth organ, which also fails first time round.


Their set is a varied one - some of their tunes aren’t too dissimilar to those by REM and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, whilst others have more experimental and post-punk vibes. Fast-paced vocals and equally fast riffs finish off their set with the song Perfect Teeth. This band have the ability to captivate an audience and this could help them towards a bright future.

The crowd waits in anticipation for The Howl And The Hum to enter the stage and perform their magical music. They eventually come in and start out with Manea. Their set continues with Vitamins, a song about their grandparents and the drugs in their cupboard. Terrorforming is next up, a song that they haven’t played in the UK so far on their tour, followed by The Only Boy Racer Left On The Island, an uplifting and inspirational tune which could one day fill stadiums.


Their small intermissions of social interaction are a welcome break from the phenomenal tunes that are being performed for the crowd. They jokingly warn us about their upcoming album. As they start to reach the end of their fabulous set, the songs keep getting bigger and bigger with Hall Of Fame and Sweet Fading Silver. But it’s Godmanchester Chinese Bridge, their most well-known song, that finishes the set with everyone sings along to every word. The band leave the stage, graciously thanking the venue, the audience and everyone who has supported them before heading to the merch desk to sign vinyl and take photos with the fans.

The Howl And The Hum's official site can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter.

Bull's official website can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter.

Amy May Ellis's website can be found here and she is on Facebook and Twitter.

photos - Nick Meikle
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