Swedes make UK return with intimate gig
The Hives returned the UK tonight (July 24) with an intimate show at the 100 Club in London.
Unveiling their new look – black blazers with a white trim that recalled the 1960s cult TV series ‘The Prisoner’, plus matching striped ties – the band declared that this was their smallest show in months.
“Everyone move a bit closer, The Hives are back in town,” demanded frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist. “You know what we’ve been doing for the last three months playing rock festivals to 20,000 to 30,000 people, so the 300 of you here tonight have to compete with that! You have the advantage you’re much closer.”
With the band currently finishing their fourth album, they used the show to preview several new tracks, with the singer telling the crowd: “The Hives are going to play you some songs from their new album. It’s true The Hives are doing a new album and you know what? It’s fucking good!”
The band then played new songs in their set such as ’Bigger Hole to Fill’ and ‘Try it Again’, before performing the song they recorded with hip-hop producer Pharrell Williams.
“We recorded in sunny Florida,” said Almqvist. “You’ve heard the rumours, we recorded with Pharrell Williams? Want to hear what came out? This is ‘Well Alright’.”
The band then played the track which mixed Blur-esque ‘Song 2’ “Woo-hoos” over a jaunty tune that broke for a Scott Walker-style middle eight before returning to a tribal beat and hand claps.
“It’s been a while since The Hives destroyed a venue of this size completely, but I want to ask you a question ‘Have we lost it?’,” Almqvist asked later on.
Following loud cheers to the contrary the band then tore through old favourites ‘No Pun Intended’ and ‘Diabolical Scheme’, declaring they were pleased to be back in the UK.
“It feels really good to be back on the British Isles with its warm climate and sensible house prices in central London, it reminds us of our home town,” joked the singer ahead of ‘Tick Tick Boom’, adding that it was a “Hives song you have never heard before”.
They then explained they had ways of “making you talk and they go like this”, rounded-off their set with hits ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’ and ’Walk Idiot Walk’ causing mini-riots, the latter seeing drummer Chris Dangerous diving into the crowd before being carried back to the venue’s tiny dressing room by eager fans.
Returning for the encore, Almqvist boasted: “You know what they say always leave them wanting more? That’s what bands who don’t play any good songs say, we could play 50 more songs and you’d want more!”
The band then wrapped-up the nights up with a storming versions of ‘Main Offender’ and new song ‘Let it Go’.
The Hives played:
‘Bigger Hole to Fill’
‘No Pun Intended’
‘Try It Again’
‘A Little More For A Little You’
‘Tick Tick Boom’
‘Die All Right’
‘Two Timing Touch’
‘Hate To Say I Told You So’
‘Walk Idiot Walk’
‘Let It Go’
For an exclusive interview with The Hives, get this week’s issue of NME, on UK newsstands now.