6th of December 2014
Hookworms arrive in visceral form and confirm themselves as one of the best live bands around, Louder Than War’s Lee Hammond is completely blown away by them this evening.
Tonight sees Hookworms finally make their way into Newcastle, having been in these guys company many times in various places across the country. To say I’m a little excited is an understatement as the venue fills so does the excitement, Kogumaza take to the stage in visceral form.
Kogumaza sound unbelievable from the off and with their humongous riffs it takes the form of an aural assault of epic proportions. They knock me for six with their power, the sea of nodding heads swelling throughout their set. Any short break of silence is immediately filled with the crowd’s appreciation for these monolithic riff monsters.
As Kogumaza leave the stage there is little respite, Hookworms are hot on their heels. The stage now a wash with keyboards and gadgetry, it’s barely big enough to accommodate these guys. They waste very little time in laying into tonight’s crowd with their brilliant sound, a sound that is difficult to pin down.
They cross boundaries and new album The Hum has seen them really cement this sound. However, Always/Towards is still unbelievable opener MJs vocals strain as the psychedelic underpinning of the track shines through. It’s the perfect prelude for the onslaught that is about to be delivered.
Kogumaza were loud but Hookworms have everything firmly turned to eleven this evening, this sold out crowd pogo like excited kids at Christmas. The band feed on this electric energy and it enthuses them even more so, the huge pounding drums of Radio Tokyo ring out.
Their set has everyone overly excited, it’s abundantly clear that this evening is going to go down as one of those “I was there” moments. Despite seeing Hookworms numerous times, the new material really is something else live. The Impasse is every bit intense as it is brilliant, MJs trademark vocals screech over the top of an intense backing track.
As it breaks into this wall of noise, before the more traditional On Leaving kicks in, whilst it’s not the most intense track of the evening its every bit as pleasant and perhaps the perfect antidote to what has otherwise been an even harsher aural assault than that which Kogumaza provided early on.
By the time Hookworms exit the stage the crowd have used all of their energy pogoing around this evening’s venue, yet they’re hungry for more. Chants ring out long after the band have left the stage as they leave their drummer to face the baying hordes only to deny us anymore. Apart from that this evening could not have been any better, Hookworms have firmly cemented themselves at the top of my favourite bands list.
All words and pictures by Lee Hammond. You can check out more work by Lee by visiting his Louder Than War archive.