Minnesota’s Hippo Campus bring their infectious toe-tapping tunes to Manchester and Getintothis’ Katie Murt came in out of the cold to lap it all up.
7:20pm, almost an hour after doors are due to open, we find ourselves cold and shivering at the back of an unreasonably long queue.
Leeds band Marsicans are still sound checking inside, and by the time we actually got into Sound Control everyone was just happy to be indoors. With the mood arguably a little diminished, it was going to take some vigour from the support to bring it back to life.
But Marsicans certainly delivered. The four piece were completely absorbed in their performance from the off, even covering Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror with an indie twist. Performing their song Absence with the perfect amount of gusto, it was clear this band were having fun playing this set.
As soon as Hippo Campus kick off their set with Poems, the crowd was ready and waiting to sing the words right back at them. These four lads from Minnesota have captured the imagination of the kids across the pond. Even though the band played it safe with their stage presence, the songs did the work for them, with vocalist Jake Luppen enjoying pulling some mad facial expressions while singing Sophie So – the ultimate crowd pleaser.
In contrast, the other members of the band looked incredibly chilled out, letting their singer – and the music – do the talking. The band finished up their set with well-loved South, Little Grace and Violet.
We were intrigued to hear what this band had to offer live since first listening to these tracks with the release of their Bashful Creatures EP back in 2015. We weren’t disappointed, delivering a tight and lively performance, the songs sounded as spirited and punchy as they do coming through your earphones.
Hippo Campus resonates with the part of the brain that processes emotions and transfers them into long term memories. Whether this was something the band had in mind or not, this philosophy undeniably comes across in their music. Their lyrics capture youth culture and nostalgic times coupled with plucky riffs and echoed chords. The entire ensemble is definitely working for Hippo Campus. We eagerly await the release of their debut album – landmark – coming our way on February 24 to see just how far this band can go.