Having finished recording their debut album last week, The Howl And The Hum headed on tour and on Friday came to Manchester for a sold-out show at The Deaf Institute with support from Leeds-based Talk Boy. The set combined older releases with new tracks and other unreleased songs which will be set to feature on the new album, hooking the crowd from the very start until the closing sing-along.
The Deaf Institute is one of my favorite Manchester venues, but I hadn’t realised quite how small the stage was until six-piece Talk Boy squeezed on along with a drum kit, keyboard, guitars and several mic stands. There was barely any room, but they made it work and the crammed stage didn’t stop the band from performing a high-energy set to begin the night. By this time nearly everyone had arrived at the venue, it was feeling quite full and the excitement in the room was growing. The band is fronted by Katie Heap and combines layered melodies from second vocalist, Callum Juniper, who’s deeper voice brings something unique to the music while the fast-paced indie guitar riffs, lively drum beats and synth-lines carry the songs.
The crowd cheered as The Howl and The Hum walked on stage. The band have been labeled ones to watch and the audience knew this, eager for the show! The band opened with Manea, an older song from their debut EP back in 2017. Though not brand new, the powerful delivery of the song feels like a new release that the band are keen to share. Beginning with the rumbling baselines it grows as frontman Sam’s vocal begins, his voice effortlessly captured the room and perfectly complements the dark tones of the music as the audience sing along to every word.
The set continues with newer tracks, Hall of Fame with fast-paced lyrics and anthemic riffs, then Human Contact, which has a more ghostly tone with echoing lyrics continuing the ominous tones that the band pride themselves on with an added sense of mystery.
The Howl and the Hum do have dark undertones to most of their songs, though with heartfelt lyrics and a sound you can dance to. The dynamic vocal is a large part of the songs but doesn’t overtake as the music was able to capture the room, especially during the explosive instrumentals where the band fully immerse themselves in the performance, radiating energy through the room as the music takes over.
The band closed with Godmanchester Chinese Bridge, a slower song that holds just as much charisma as the others. This song really showcases the vocal talent of Sam, it builds up with gentle synth chords and strums exploding towards the end of the song before the dynamic vocal closes the song.
The Howl and The Hum are definitely a band to keep on your radar, they will be in Liverpool next month as they continue their tour with dates across the UK.