“Ladies and Gentlemen” seems a good way to start this off since that’s how we were addressed at the Roundhouse when Swedish band THE HIVES returned to London.
I’d heard so much about this band and their live shows for a long time now, and felt silly for not having seen them yet. Having heard the albums in passing and only really recognising the singles, the completely packed show did indeed prove to me that I’d been missing something.
Singer Pelle Almqvist addressed the crowd throughout, which for a newbie certainly put a smile on my face: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are going to finish with the longest song we have written. A whole 4 minutes and 30 seconds…” And perhaps most notable: “Now, everybody – sit down!” The entire crowd did so, save for a guy in a red T-shirt, who after being promptly told “You too, Sir!” sat obediently for the rest of the speech. Wow…
Musically, this sounded great. Songs that had energy to make you more than just stand around cross-armed like a typical London crowd (so he tells us) and theatrics from the entire band (not least when being introduced by Pelle) made this a fantastic first show to see. And, although you can often feel a little left out standing on the side edges of the stage, all of the band bar the drummer came over to both sides to play to the crowd, much to the glee of those who couldn’t handle the hustle of the front-stage area. I came away wanting to listen to it all over again.
It should be noted that even security were particularly friendly – fans holding dibs on set-lists were obliged by them in a friendly way, and even fans at the front were happy to let those a little more vertically-challenged pass by – if you knew the words, of course!