Last night Far Out went on yet another pilgrimage to catch one of our favourite bands of the moment, Hookworms.

We last saw this enthralling Leeds-based noise outfit on Mancunian soil when they curated a whole two-day extravaganza of the most wonderful sonic exploration as part of their Lost Weekend in May.

That time around the show took place in the dark, industrial surroundings of Salford’s Islington Mill. Shrouded in the pitch black, the quintet’s set containing gems from 2013’s Pearl Mystic and a promising glimpse in the now released The Hum made for one of our gigs of the year.

Fast forward to the present and the atmosphere at Sound Control is very different. The venue simply just doesn’t have the same character and there’s a feeling that it is perhaps less suited to Hookworms’ sound as the band’s trademark reverb echoes around the space.

But that does very little to dampen a live show that we’ve come to expect to be flawless every time. The Hum features some slower numbers of the quality to demonstrate a versatility to Hookworms’ song writing and confirmation that they can by no means be labelled as one trick parasites. As a result, the set peaks and troughs in a way that was not as prevalent during the rock ‘n’ roll onslaught we witnessed in Salford.

This makes for a couple of truly encapsulating moments. After kicking off with real stompers in the shape of the electrifying ‘Away/Towards’ and ‘The Impasse’, the performance is given room to breathe and a definite highlight is an extended version of ‘Off Screen’.

It’s an eclectic crowd that pack Sound Control to the rafters, with a pocket of excitable exuberance down the front, balanced with the more reserved chin-strokers, preferring to lean on the bar and take in the show from afar.

The bright stage lights and general chrome vibe at Sound Control bring an extra shimmer to the set, with the occasional electronic interludes provided by frontman MJ suiting them nicely, but throughout there is feeling that this time around there is slightly less of a sense of occasion.

Saying that, the pure power and urgency of Hookworms’ music is such that that there is never any risk of not having the audience on side. As proceedings draw to a close, the applause is rapturous.

MJ speaks only one utterance as the band leave the stage, the night’s sole instance of crowd interaction. A simple thank you does the job. There are a great number of people in the room who are begging for more too, but after a little bit of hanging around it becomes clear their wants will not be met.

At times it felt like the kind of Sunday night rock show that could go either way, but it’s foolish to have even considered doubting that Hookworms would offer anything other than unadulterated entertainment from start to finish. What’s more, we’ll be there again next time because following this band’s exciting evolution is just too good to refuse.

Patrick Davies
(Featured image – Martin Waters)

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