After netting a deal with Heavenly Recordings, Getintothis’ Adam Lowerson sees Hooton Tennis Club at their triumphant single launch.
To say Hooton Tennis Club’s rise has been meteoric would be an understatement. After being scouted by The Farm’s Carl Hunter and snapped up to The Label Recordings, a record label launched at Edge Hill University, they are now set to release their debut single Jasper on Heavenly Recordings to top off what has been a grand slam 12 months for the Wirral rockers.
Tonight at the launch of the double A-side single, the Wirral four piece served an ace with a set of perfect lo-fi pop, showing exactly why they’re one of the most talked about new bands around. With a stage draped in multi-coloured bunting and balloons littering the floor, the packed out Shipping Forecast was in a party spirit.
Although it might not be the obvious description of a Pavement-esque, slacker-rock band, Hooton Tennis Club are incredibly fun to watch. Their set made of short, snappy two-and-a-half-minute bursts flies by with a real feeling of a bond between the crowd, band and band members, with vocal duties being hit back and forth by the co-vocalists. The childhood friendships between the band are obvious adding real warmth to the performance.
It’s early days in what will no doubt be a great career for Hooton Tennis Club, but already they’re showing their ability to write well crafted, melodic earworms while still maintaining their loose, slacker feel and punk aesthetic. Brilliantly named Kathleen Sat on the Arm of Her Favourite Chair signifies this with its languid guitars and dreamy vocals, but it’s the forthcoming single Jasper which really stands out in all its Teenage Fanclub glory. Hooking you in with the killer opening line “We lost a great, great man today…” it’s all jangly guitar pop and poetic lyrics. A real opening statement for the group’s first release.
It’s not just the band’s reputation that has grown over the last 12 months however, as the improvement in their live performance is equally as impressive. The last time Getintothis’ caught Hooton Tennis Club was during their summer performance at FestEVOL, and although the set was undoubtedly impressive the difference now is huge. The sound is more refined, the new songs more memorable and the growing confidence infectious. It’s important not to get too carried away with a new band, but Hooton Tennis Club are already winning over a lot of people. Game, set and match.
Earlier in the night was the second show of new Liverpool buzz band RongoRongo, who have already picked up attention from the NME. Having made their first appearance with opening for Wampire, the post-punk four piece showed promising signs that they’ll be worth keeping an eye on this year. Their dark, sludgey, almost prog mini epics creep along around drummer and singer Mick Chrysalid’s vocals. It’s far from perfect, but there’s enough in the oscillating guitars and grinding rhythms to show that RongoRongo have the makings of a really interesting proposition.
Hannah Lou Clark made the trip up from down south to play a more stripped back set than her usual full band proposition, but her heartfelt vocals and acoustic pop punk sound felt like a bit of a wet lettuce in the middle of the punk sounds making up the rest of the night.
Gothic rockers SeaWitches opened the night with their dark, haunting pop, showcasing why they’re the latest Liverpool act for Carl Hunter to take an interest in, with them being added to the Label Recordings’ ever growing roster.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Martin Waters.