I went up to Manchester yesterday to experience Hurts' first ever live performance. If you don't know who Hurts are and you like stern, resplendent male synth-pop duos, then, well, I'm afraid you haven't been very observant of late, have you?
I was accompanied by Popjustice's Peter Robinson (who can be spotted making unrequested cameos in numerous of the below videos). En route to the venue we ran a checklist of the elements that comprised the upcoming event, and ascertained that it fitted into neither the established parameters of 'a gig', nor 'a pop concert'.
No, this was very much 'a happening'.
Check the venue, for starters:
St Philip with St Stephen’s Church, Salford.
There were several other elements that prevented it being a disastrous over-thought anti-climax and made it probably the best debut performance I can remember seeing.
Here are a few:
The obvious school hymn recital deja vu factor.
The barmaids and/or the bar.
The session opera singer, named David as I later found out.
The fact that the band have at least six absolutely stonking tunes that most - ahem, cough, splutter etc- 'bands' of now would eat their own faces to possess a bridge in the same league as. Often these occassions are when you realise that the three demo tunes you heard on their Myspace six months prior are pretty much all they've got, so the addition of another three Bigtime moments was, let's say, a relief.
That, paired with the most meticulously executed live show I've encountered since Take That's unicycles and mechanical elephants at Wembley meant everyone walked away giving eachother those 'well, there we go...' type looks. Oh, and they had 'hymn sheets' with all the lyrics set out on the pews too. They were very good.
Afterwards I cornered Theo and Adam in the vicar's parlour and together we held the body or Christ, and some rocket: