Bristol rockers The Hideaways have honed a raucously engaging sound that puts them right up there with the most exciting new bands we’ve met over the last couple of years.
The quartet of Danny Pugh (vocals and guitars), Tim Burden (guitar and synth), Sam Bendall-Weeks (bass) and Jack Ford (drums) formed last summer after Danny and Sam initially met randomly at Reading Festival. They’ve quickly set about making a strong impression with their energetic, intense rock sound.
The latest offering of this is CLOWNFIGHT, which they released at the end of last month. It kicks off with catchy fast-paced vocals from Danny “Clownfight, spaceflight, you’re the rocket in my sky, Long live my solicitude,” which are gradually joined by building instrumental support. A second round of vocals features the cool lyrics “Honeycomb, let me shake her, She’s a star, She’s a spiritual masturbator,” then a quick guitar lick acts as a bridge between verses, the fast-paced vocals return, and the second verse is followed by a cool section of building guitars and rolling drums.
Everything drops out bar weird synthy noises, then a repeating little guitar riff kicks in under more laid-back vocals. Repeats of “I see the fire in your eyes when he’s high” gradually increase in intensity and end in a big repeating high-pitched guitar lick. Then repeats of “Oh no I’ve seen enough” come in, before a cry of “Clownfight” brings in more of the repeating guitar lick, building towards a final cry of the opening line. It’s catchy, edgy, feisty and really, really fun. Check it out in the stream below:
On the track, Danny tells us to expect a ‘classic Hideaways song.’ He said: “It’s unusual, but not to us. I’ll always get lost in a song when writing it and the music ends up taking me on a little adventure, so we never really know how it’s gonna turn out. You’ll hear that in this one. It’s like, ‘we’ll try something different, then halfway through just go back to being us, make weird noises and turn the guitars up.’ It’s similar to I’m Here, Storm in that sense.”
The track Danny alludes to here – I’m Here, Storm – is potentially The Hideaways at their very finest. It begins with a pulsing synth sound and light guitar under Danny’s winding vocals that gradually build in intensity and end with a cry of “I know it’s my turn to die, I know it’s my turn tonight.” A more upbeat second verse follows, then a repeat of “She’s still only 17” leads into heavier guitars, before dropping into another verse.
The song then really kicks into life as big distorted guitars enter under repeats of “I know it’s my turn to die” as the atmosphere builds, then a cry of “I wanna give it to ya” gives way to a big smash of guitar riffs and driving drums that see us through to a lively ending. It’s awesome, so check out the video below:
For those of a certain age, frontman Danny’s story of how he first got into music will sound very familiar. “The band obsession; it starts from a young age, doesn’t it? You get home from school, go to your mate’s house, play dodgy MP3s on Limewire, accidentally download a virus… PC’s down. Pick up the guitar and just play… I don’t know how it works nowadays though. Imagine the outrage if a young un’ murdered Wonderwall on an out-of-tune acoustic with a B string missing.”
The Hideaways sound is a real melting pot of everything from the likes of The National and Radiohead, through to heavier influences like Foals, Biffy Clyro and Royal Blood, along with a punky edge inspired by Danny growing up on Stiff Little Fingers.
And on their sound generally, Danny tells us: “The songs are adventurous. The music is raucous. I think each song is different from the last. We’re still unsure about what genre we really are. I always struggle to answer this question because what we sound like in my head is totally different in reality, ha.”
But in terms of what influences their music, Danny tells us the band like to keep things simple: “I’d love to be able to say that we’re a band with a voice about something and we write about things that can impact something or someone, but right now I feel like everyone’s head capacity is full… they wouldn’t need to listen. Maybe there’s nothing to listen to… maybe that’s the attractive influence for me…
“I take much inspiration from good times and bad experiences. It’s still relative but just not trendy again yet. There are artists who are great at it, so I’ll leave it to them and just stick to the weird and subtle storylines about people’s deranged lives.”
You can see The Hideaways play a series of gigs across the UK before the end of the year, kicking off at Camden Assembly in London on 24 November, then Asylum 2 in Birmingham on 30 November, followed by Suburbia in Southampton on 1 December, then a run of consecutive nights in Bristol, Colchester, Leeds and Manchester, while they’re also playing Portsmouth’s Icebreaker Festival in January. More info on all their gigs is here.
And if you’re intrigued about what they get up to on tour then, well, it’s not very rock’n’roll. Danny explains: “Fun (and also very boring) fact: We do cheeseboards in the tour bus, and we do them very well. Please message us on Facebook if you have any recommendations on cheese or condiments. I just tend to sit there and get told what to eat. Jack is the king of chutney. Sam’s the Brie guy. Tim’s middle name is Stilton.”
But cheese obsession aside, this is a band we’re really excited about and looking forward to hearing more from shortly. They’ll be back in the studio early next year, so keep your ears peeled for new music soon.