Hope Of The States roadtested a new line-up last night (April 15) at their first proper live show since their recent tragedy.
The band played a rammed-full London Camden Barfly with close friend Mike Hibbert filling in the parts left by guitarist Jimmi Lawrence, who died earlier this year.
After the show, singer Sam Herlihy told NME.COM: “Mike’s just an absolute legend, just an absolute wonderful human being – irrelevant of how he plays the guitar, of all the most painless ways that this whole situation could be, he facilitated that, and I’ll love him forever for that.”
Hibbert will initially fill in at live shows, with a view to him joining the band full-time in the future. Said Herlihy: “Hopefully in the future, in a year or a couple of years or however long it takes, when it feels right, hopefully he can be in the band. We don’t want to be a man down forever, and we couldn’t come back without him basically, we couldn’t do what we do without there being six people onstage.”
Last week, Hope Of The States completed their long-awaited debut album, which Herlihy revealed will be called ‘The Lost Riots’.
He explained: “The record’s just about so much that’s been lost from everybody’s lives, ours as much as everyone else’s, and how self-pity’s not the way, to kick against everything is the best thing in the world. And that’s no reference to Jimmi whatsoever, that was the whole record before all this happened. The record’s no different than it would have been if he was still here.”
Tonight, the band play Manchester Night & Day Cafe, followed by a show in Bristol tomorrow, in advance of a full-scale tour. ‘The Lost Riots’ is due for release in early summer.