Whales In Cubicles | Hannah Lou Clark | Free Radio: Oakford Social Club, Reading – live review

Whales in Cubicles | Hannah Lou Clark | Free Radio
Oakford Social Club, Reading 
9th May 2014

Anthemic four piece band Whales in Cubicles are not just one of the most brilliantly named bands around but also one of the most exciting rising acts you’ll have the pleasure of seeing. Chris Craddock reviews.

The evening of live music began in the quaint setting of the imitate Oakford Social Club with the dark disco sounds of Free Radio. Think broody Bloc Party meets electronic grooves with news clips discussing heavy hitting subjects like the phone hacking scandal. The short, sharp guitar rifts and the serious subject matter worked hand in hand to create a high octane show.

We quickly shifted down a few gears for the next act on the bill. Hannah Lou Clark’s beautiful vocals and superb melodies entranced and enthralled all there.  Any musician that wears a black turtleneck at a gig is usually onto a winner but the hauntingly beautiful music stole the show from the iconic piece of clothing. It’s true testament to a musician’s craft that Hannah Lou Clark emerges from the ashes of the fantastic FOE with a captivating set of music. CeCe joined her on stage and together their wonderful harmonies topped off a gorgeous show that left many there feeling a tad emotional.


Whales in Cubicles wasted little time in raising the roof with their giant sounds that their debut LP is littered with. It hardly takes any time before you realise that they are a perfectly named band – they’re full of large and also familiar music that has hints of Smashing Pumpkins and The Pixies but in a smaller setting than you’d expect to hear it. Their set is expertly balanced between these thumping numbers like Yesterday’s News and tracks like All The Pretty Flowers that flows gracefully giving the crowd a moment to collect themselves.

It’s a set that has everything you’d possibly want from a live show. The room was filled with huge songs like Nowhere Flag that has the addictiveness of a Coldplay track but doesn’t make you feel guilty about loving it. Really this tiny, adorable venue was an apt setting for a band called Whales In Cubicles. The massive music emanating from the band just about squeezed into the gig and it was most definitely a spectacle worth beholding.


Whales In Cubicles’ website is here. They are also on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

Free Radio are on Facebook and SoundCloud.

Hannah Lou Clark is on Facebook and Twitter.

All words by Chris Craddock. More writing by Chris can be found in his author’s archive.

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