Halo : London W1 100 Club

...from the frankly plain insipid to the (almost) inspiring...

Five minutes in and, however good Halo get tonight, all anyone will remember come tomorrow is the oppressive, sweat-inducing 100 Club heat. When oh when will British venues drag themselves into this century and invest in air-conditioning? It’s hard enough as it is to figure out what Halo‘s masterplan is, even without equatorial temperature levels: they look impeccably indie – all tight t-shirts, blond tufts and eyeliner – but their sound swerves violently from the frankly plain insipid to the (almost) inspiring.

On ‘Still Here’ and ‘Sanctimonious’, the tumbling guitars and freestyle falsetto vocals of Graeme Moncrieff (could the poor lad have a less rock n’ roll name?) are spectacular, nudging Halo on a path towards Muse-style greatness complete with squalling feedback and heroic rock postures. It’s just when they try and reign in their sound to deliver something with smoother edges and a more definite chorus, it all falls flat. Then the Bristol quartet sound like a band hedging their bets, refusing to commit to all-out metal pomposity for fear of alienating more delicate ears. It may make them more radio-friendly but the best thing Halo could do now is learn the art of no compromise. Then things should get really interesting.

Siobhan Grogan