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Live review

Howling Bells 

Scala , London, Kings Cross

added: 25 Jun 2014 // gig date: 10 Jun 2014
reviewer: David Thorpe

Howling Bells - Scala , London, Kings Cross - Printable version
Tonight the sublime Howling Bells play the Scala in Kings Cross. A converted theatre and one of my favourite London venues.

People are beginning to filter in and first up are a band called Glass Maps. They are a vocals/guitar and drums duo who warm the small crown up nicely with their brand of blues pop.

Next on are the Climbing Boys who treat us to some 80’s indie rock very reminiscent of Jesus and Mary chain, My Bloody Valentine and even a hint of Julian Cope. A great live band and one to watch for the future.

The Howling Bells have been together now for a decade and have just released their fourth album Heartstrings which I really think is their best so far so I am really looking forward to hearing the songs play out live

As the lights dim and the smoke machine helps to create an electric atmosphere there is a definite air of anticipation. They start with the first song from Heartstrings, Paris. The slow start warms up the crowd even more and the band then explode into the short but very powerful Possessed.

Howling Bells recorded material is wonderful but hearing these amazing songs played live is really how you should hear them. There is a glance over their shoulders to ‘Gothier days’ with influences including Siouxie and the Banshees and All about Eve. Juanita’s diva like vocals bring the sound up to date and the ballads entrance the crowd but it is on the stronger faster songs that it really comes into its own.

Juanita is a mesmerising front woman but we mustn’t forget the rest of the band that fit together perfectly and play so tightly I am sure they know exactly what each other is thinking. The whole set made me tingle but songs that really stood out were Your Love, their latest single Slowburn and Revierie which brings the set to a close.

This isn’t the end though as they come back for an encore and play Paper Heart and Broken Bones.

Howling Bells have proved they have still got what it takes to move an audience and are playing lots of festivals this summer so go and see them NOW!

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4 stars

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