The Howl & the Hum are a tempestuous 4-piece York born band who give every single upcoming band of 2017 run for their money. Playing as part of Live at Leeds’ ‘Ones to Watch’ day festival, despite still being a fairly niche alt-rock band they’ve already been scouted as a band to keep on your musical radar as well as featuring on BBC Radio 1 just this weekend with their newest release ‘I Wish I Was a Shark’.
The first time I saw The Howl & The Hum was actually a year ago in the exact same venue as I saw them last Saturday. I have to admit even having no clue who they were a year ago they provoked emotion out of me that I haven’t felt watching any modern band like EVER and ensuring I see them whenever they’re local has accentuated just how flawless both their performance and their compositions are. ‘I Wish I Was a Shark’, even the title of itself is suggestive of the writer Sam Griffiths, I mean who writes a song about wishing they were a shark? Quirky, Griffiths does. I have never seen such a genuinely, impassioned and intense performer. Shark consists of an eerie opening before introducing a soft and progressive tune decorated by Sam’s seamless vocals, the faultless musicians then collaborate to plunge the listener into a sea of emotion. Whether that be awe, sadness or a mixture of the two, it’s difficult to pinpoint purely because there is so much ambiguity surrounding the songs of The Howl & The Hum.
However, what is for certain is the future of this band. It is practically impossible to have such raw talent and not gain the recognition they deserve. Each member comes across as a very confident and intellectual musician, for example Sam himself is the vocalist of a variety of other music projects and bassist Bradley Blackwell’s prime instrument is a double bass. Despite exhibiting themselves as a music prodigy, make no mistake, no part of their attitude is arrogant-in fact it’s quite the opposite. They’ve absolutely no idea how good they are. The craftmanship in the song writing, whether that be singing about Tesco value wine or smelling blood in the water is second to none. Lyrics such as these are brought to life by Griffith’s bizarre but compelling body movements across the stage almost mirroring The Clash’s London Calling cover with Paul Simonon smashing his fender.
The Howl and the Hum have just announced their Portrait Tour starting in January next year covering 8 dates including Manchester’s Jimmy’s. Ooo and would you look at that? It’s free!
Book yourself a ticket while they’re still playing such intimate gigs, if you don’t enjoy it I’ll personally refund every individual. HA!
Listen to ‘ I Wish I Was a Shark’ here…