Howling Bells at Punk, SOHO

Howling Bells at Punk (66/365)

It wasn’t quite a long time that I told everyone that it was impossible to win tickets to Howling Bells playing at Punk, Soho for NME radio. Fortunately I caved in and won the competition via the radio so yay, one more Howling Bells gig to enjoy!
Before the show we (me, John and the nme staff) tried to use all the words used to describe the intimatacy of the gig, it began feeling a bit like selling a small house, words like close, cosy etc were used and you do get numb from hearing all those words. But you can never turn down a free intimate gig.

Once at the venue, we settled in the front and conversed for a bit, I left Michelle’s name (my plus one) at the door so I felt less ancy from not getting all that sorted, as soon as Michelle arrived I felt a lot better (it’s just me innit), then the wait began. We were all in at about 6.30pm but the show was starting at around 8pm so it was a matter of finding things to do in between.

Howling Bells at Punk

NME radio was blasting off the speakers nearer the end which made it hard to converse but we’ve hit a point where there wasn’t much to talk about anyway. Eventually the band appeared on stage, the first thing you noticed was lead singer and guitarist Juanita Stein, was wearing a t-shirt of her for the gig. It was all lighthearted fun and I was surprised someone didn’t heckle it during the show for her to explain to the crowd (I was very close in doing that but I think heckling her once at Islington Academy was more than enough).

Howling Bells at Punk
The setlist was rather cool, they played mostly songs from their latest album Radio Wars, but also included 4 oldies including Setting Sun, Blessed Night, Broken Bones and Low Happening. We could count their latest single Cities Burning Down as one but I suppose that’s for the fans that stuck with “the bells” since the first album to know. It was quite a buzzing show, the sound was better than Islington Academy and the Fopp instore, in particular was when she played Radio Wars Theme did you get that raw pounding drums from Glenn and Juanita on the drums. She even told people to cheer afterwards because it was one heck of a drum bit and she definitely deserved more than a normal cheer.

As Anika once pointed out, they are doing pretty well with marketing and whatnot, appearing on radio, NME and having their album plastered everywhere on the tube and whatnot. No videos for this gig since I was assuming NME were going to play it back…

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