Stockport hailing alternative post-punk indie band The Hope Edition are no strangers to the Manchester Culture Blog. They featured on here back in November 2013, following their stand out support for Bristol-born indie rockers Coasts. However, the band have returned this summer with a new single, and to take the stage as headliners. For those of you who are not familiar with the northern high energy indie rock of Andrew Schofield on Guitars/Vocals, Phil Higgins on Guitars/Vocals, Alex Scott on Bass, Ben Bibby on Drums and Daisy Norburn on Keyboards, than this review will give you a flavour of what you should excitedly expect!
A single launch is always a daunting thing- especially when releasing material to your home crowd but The Hope Edition’s music captures the imagination of a city that has seen so many different musical influences shape its performative landscape, that to write about this single launch is a real pleasure.
The band’s single launch took place at KRAAK Gallery on 20th June 2014, and welcomed a dedicated audience of fans and new listeners alike. The Hope Edition had two support acts joining them- with Manchester/Liverpool 80s/90s moody rockers LVLS kick starting the music of the evening with a defiant buzz. Their track W.S.C.B.F with its edgy synths and delicate harmonies were perfectly matched to lead singer Jay’s slick vocal line, with a delivery similar to that of The Cure’s Robert Smith. The band have been together just under a year, which is hard to believe, and when you hear how well the instrumental and vocal lines gel together, you know these guys will go far!
The second support act of the night came from Manchester solo musician Dance Savage– aka Daniel Savage. Armed with a guitar and pre-programmed beats and instrumentals, this young Manchester fellow is all about bringing uplifting, chilled beats to the city music scene. When Hearts Fall was a highlight of the set. Of course, then came the headliners of the evening…
Tony Adams Vs The World– the single release of the night was just one stand out example of The Hope Edition’s showcase set, displaying the band’s ability to create a sharp, energetic track, with a likeability that comes from switches in tempo and a combination of vocal harmonies and charming delivery that give it a strong melodic propulsion. The ten song set eloquently captured the band’s distinctive charm, which if summarised by song itself could almost be described as that of Squeeze’s Cool for Cats, and even more so from the surf rock influences of the band’s third track of the night. Oozing from both the charming descriptions and lyricism of their music, the instrumental balance is perfected with guitars, drums and delightful musical bridges from the keyboards. Or, as one reviewer who recently purchased the single on iTunes would describe the tracks as: ‘Just blood good music to dance about to’. Why not have a listen for yourselves below:
If musical influences were to be identified, for The Hope Edition the likes of fellow northern groups Joy Division, and The Artic Monkeys are there as well as the likes of those beyond the northern borders, including The Jam, and a detection for vocal influences that allude towards Adam and the Ants with their rich, heartfelt delivery. Of course, The Hope Edition deliver their signature mix of song and spoken word through each musical number too which is matched nicely with instrumental interplay and an energy that captures the urban setting at the core of so many of the band’s song lyrics. The final track of the evening- Closer finished off the evening’s set in delightful fashion. The track just demonstrates how the band have so much to give the contemporary music scene- transforming from a dainty love song that perfectly summarises the affection of love in the simple gesture of hand holding into post-punk energy that captures the heart and soul of a band breaking out in to the city’s music scene armed with an impressive set of live performances too!