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You know you’re in Hackney when you turn up for an album launch and find yourself inside a vintage dress shop that doubles as a café, cocktail bar and gig space.

First up on the night were Amaroun, a laid back three-piece led by Jay Brown on guitar and vocals. Unfortunately she was full of cold (it’s that time of year again) but, despite the olfactory obstruction she was facing, Jay did a remarkable job through a set full of syncopated rhythms and chilled vibes.

This was quite a contrast to what came next: the roof-shaking aggro-Brit pop of HOO HAs, led by the fidgety Jamie Handover with his Mike Skinner-esque commentaries on life delivered in a deadpan style. Fuelled by drummer Adam Sullivan channelling Taylor Hawkins and some Blur-style bouncing guitar riffs, it was quite a sight to see the magnificently beswiskered hipsters of Hackney jumping and headbanging.

HOO HAs could have happily closed out the evening such was the reaction of the crowd, but the main act hadn’t yet begun. I’ve been following Lovelace‘s musical career for the past four years and in that time she’s gone from a one-woman loop pedal show to band leader – now boasting a solid rhythm section and two backing singers bringing some swinging 60s vibes.

Lands is packed full of cool Americana sounds and it was a treat to see them brought to life on stage with plenty of full on harmonies and nice grooves.

11 is louder than 10 verdict

11 – Sonic boom
10 – Planet rock
9 – Headbanging
8 – Turn it up
7 – Rocking
6 – Foot tapping
5 – Worth a listen
4 – Background music
3 – Turn it down
2 – Earache
1 – Turn it off
0 – Ear bleeding

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