31st January | Exchange
As the snow billowed down in Bristol, the crowd shuffled into the Exchange, searching for a sound that would make them forget about the bleak January weather. And they found it. They found it in the groovy support act, Tungz and they found it in the dream-world set of Her’s.
The room had the nostalgia of an 80s gig. Indie kids were stomping around in their Doc Marten boots singing along to both bands and even the filler tracks in-between. There was a group of infatuated teenage girls right at the front, hanging on the band’s every word and sporting their Her’s merch. Everyone was drinking Red Stripe, everyone was dancing; I imagine it was a crowd identical to the one at The Smiths’ 1984 Bristol Hippodrome gig.
But before Liverpool-based duo, Her’s graced the stage, we had the pleasure of experiencing Bristol-based Tungz’s funky music. And blimey, they were good. Performing their kooky, disco tracks, they set the mood for the evening and their latest single, ‘Fruit’, set Her’s up with a crowd that was ready to party.
Then, walking through the crowd with a giant cardboard cut-out of Pierce Brosnan in hand, Her’s arrived decked in vintage t-shirts and nail varnish, oozing the indie weirdness we all know and love them for. And no, Pierce’s presence was never explained, but he certainly complimented the band’s random lyrics and undefinable genre.
And if that wasn’t odd enough, as Her’s began playing their first track, a girl from the crowd thrust a rather large bunch of daffodils into lead singer, Stephen Fitzpatrick’s face. The act felt strangely symbolic, since their music (and the increasing temperature of a sold-out room) had us feeling like we were at some ethereal summer rave.
As they played tracks from their new album, Invitation to Her’s, the duo maintained their excitable energy, telling stories of phone sex, pet cats and over-friendly massages. Their presence was contagious and had people shouting out from the crowd, joining in on the weird jokes and tropical tunes. Favourites from the new album, like ‘Harvey’ and ‘If You Know What’s Right’ were hits but you knew the crowd were true fans when the band delved into their 2017 album, Songs of Her’s. Classics that put Her’s on the map such as ‘Cool With You’ and ‘Speed Racer’ were devoured gratefully.
To close the set, and in typical Her’s fashion, bassist Audun Laading played an electric guitar riff while the pair jumped into the crowd. The Exchange is a small, intimate gig space and with the band playing inches from your face, there was a strong sense of pop-funk camaraderie amongst everyone gathered.
After many enthusiastic rounds of applause, we braved our way back into the blizzard. The contrast between Her’s tropical dream-pop jangles and the snow blanketing the ground felt surreal, but it’s this surrealism that helped us to escape the cold winter reality and find solace in a band called Her’s.
See the video for ‘Under Wraps’ here: