I’m at Boston Music Room in Tufnell Park, attending the first of three sell-out shows by Hertfordshire four-piece The Hunna. Although not a venue that’s about to win any awards for its appearance, the slightly decrepit, run-down nature of the place sits well with the angsty yet anthemic sound of this guitar laden young band.
There’s a real feeling of anticipation being shared by the front row I now find myself alongside and the fan base has grown rapidly since The Hunna’s inception – so much so that following a tour supporting Coasts last Autumn, they have already announced a headline show at Camden’s Electric Ballroom in the Summer. Heady stuff.
They open with Alive, a song not represented on either of the EP releases to date. It’s a bold move given that a significant number of the audience were unaware of its presence to this point. That said, an eleven strong set list is by definition going to be top heavy with unreleased works when the back catalogue currently contains only a quintet of tunes and the crowd embraced all the new material with great enthusiasm.
We were soon in far more familiar territory with new single We Could Be, its insistent bass line and urgent drums inducing significant bounce, sway and early chanting from the collective. A very high-energy song like this rapidly got the band into its stride: bassist Jermaine Angin and drummer Jack Metcalfe form an excellent foundation; meanwhile stage right, guitarist Dan Dorney paced forward and back like a captive wild cat waiting to spring. Occupying centre stage was charismatic frontman Ryan Potter, with his straw blonde hair flailing about, there’s more than a passing resemblance to Kurt Cobain going down. It says a lot about the confidence expressed in your musical project that you’re prepared to have its title indelibly inked upon your person; but Potter proudly displays the name of the band on his right shoulder blade as he goes about his work. There’s plenty more body art on display too, much to the excitement of the (almost exclusively female) front row wedged up against the stage.
But this is not a band over which to fawn based upon aesthetic appeal alone. The song writing is excellent; the music soars and the lyrics have depth. It’s hard to believe they’re as young as they are. The new material keeps coming: Still Got Blood, Never Enough and Hunna Tree are all well received but not surprisingly the biggest excitement of the night was reserved for opening single Bonfire, a great piece of music that resulted in the audience going completely wild and Potter finishing the set laying on his back.
There’s a definite buzz about The Hunna and plaudits abound. If you like your music guitar based and approve of bands such as Coasts and Catfish And The Bottlemen then you need to see this band and you need to do it soon. An opportunity to catch them up close in an intimate venue could soon become a rare commodity indeed.
Live Review & Concert Photography by Simon Reed on 2nd March 2016. See more of Simon’s photography on his personal website: www.musicalpictures.co.uk