Happyness | Live Review


It’s a show that simultaneously stops you in your tracks and encourages you to bust out your favourite moves.

There have been so, so many bands that have hopped along the 90s bandwagon. Scuzzy, reverb-fuelled guitars, long, greasy hair and an abundance of flannel shirts has swarmed the industry over the past twelve months and it’s fair to say, that some have faired better than others. Whilst most of us are getting pretty tired with being inundated with the same, regurgitated sound, Happyness are a rare glimpse into how it should be done.

The South London three-piece consist of Ash, Benji and Jonny. They self-released their self-titled EP earlier this year and with the likes of Ed Harcourt and Adam Lasus to help you mix and master the release, you know you’re already onto a good thing. Their debut album ‘Weird Little Birthday’ came out in June of this year and its progression of melancholy indie certainly makes it a cause for celebration.

The recently reopened and revamped Thekla is the perfect platform to showcase the group, as they joke with the crowd during some pre-playing technical difficulties. They’re awkward yet relatable and it’s not too long before they open up with some treats from their debut album. Instantly, it’s obvious that the sound tech has done a stellar job, as Benji’s guitar, Ash’s thwacks and Jonny’s bass all blending seamlessly. The band are tight – like, really tight; they’re so on point with every strum and yet, they make it look effortless. Laughing and joking with the audience and each other at every given moment, it never deters from the set’s impeccable execution.

It’s easy to see why ‘Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste The Same’ was picked as a single. The double vocals and incredibly catchy hook sees this reluctant crowd almost tapping their feet, with the song’s Pavement / Dinosaur Jr influence showcased with a feverish and delightful performance; as drummer Ash sways his head and mouths the words, eyes closed and with a huge grin, we can’t help but mimic his infectious joy.

Whilst the band clearly have nostalgic influences from the likes of Wilco, Weezer and Pavement, they’re able to make them their own. Unlike so many others before them, Happyness combine these inspirations with the melancholy beauty of Daniel Johnston and Sparklehorse to create a blend of garage rock that’s tinged with honesty, openness; making it a show that simultaneously stops you in your tracks and encourages you to bust out your favourite moves. They’re clearly having a great time on stage and whilst not taking themselves too seriously, their set is seriously great. These early twenty-somethings know a thing or two about how to produce a great album and showcase an even better live show.

Check out ‘Great Minds Think Alike…’ right here: