Review: Hijak Oscar plus support, Fibbers

16 Feb 2015 @ 9.27 pm
| News
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Alice Ostapjuk singing with Hijak Oscar. Photographs © Marc McGarraghy / Yellow Mustang Photography

Hijack Oscar, Asio’s Eyes, La Petite Mort

Fibbers

Fri Feb 13

Fibbers website

If all charity fundraising was as genuinely gripping as Friday’s Hijak Oscar gig, I dare say a lot more of us would take part from time to time.

Beginning the night – incidentally raising funds for the hugely important cause of ending worldwide slavery – were psychedelic four-piece Asio’s Eyes, a York band whose songwriting maintains a woozy, absorbing air as it slightly leans towards the pop side of the spectrum.

They were very, very good, causing six or seven hippyish females to begin joyously dancing at the front of a still-quiet Fibbers.

The two- and three-part harmonies as well as the textural and tempo changes prevalent in their songs were handled with skilful ease, with drummer Callum Topham performing outstandingly, forging links between each track and holding the whole show together with his tight rhythms.

They’ve released three EPs. Seriously, give them a go.

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Woozy, absorbing and very good: Asio’s Eyes. Photographs © Marc McGarraghy / Yellow Mustang Photography
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Sheer swagger – La Petite Mort. Photographs © Marc McGarraghy / Yellow Mustang Photography

Following them were La Petite Mort – French for something a bit fruity, check Urban Dictionary if that’s piqued your interest.

Even trippier and harder than Asio’s Eyes, their tunes were really just extended jams, swooshing in and out and in again stronger and stronger every time, a killer weirdo combination of soaring Rickenbacker guitar, scatty sax and the twin vocals of Charlie Swainston (think lovechild of Brett Anderson and Unfinished Drawings) and the strikingly slender Jared Thorpe.

Though for my money they could have benefited from a bit more bass, their sheer swagger to get up and, in turn, caress and smack the hell out of whatever they held in their sweaty little mitts was fabulous.

LPM’s music is truly stuff to lose yourself in.

At this point the hippy dancing had expanded to include more gig-goers, at least ten people moving their bodies with grace and freedom that was utterly joyous to watch.

The headliners, having been on hiatus for half a decade, frankly smashed it.

After a mock newsflash announced their arrival (reminiscent of Public Service Broadcasting, whom incidentally I saw on Saturday night supporting Kaiser Chiefs and was slightly underwhelmed by), a massive clan of magnificent musicians took to the stage, followed by soul of the group Tim Fox, resplendent with hat, coat and cane.

To say they had presence would be an understatement.

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The adrenaline skyrocketed: Hijak Oscar. Marc McGarraghy / Yellow Mustang Photography

You have to see Hijak Oscar live. They may not be every muso’s wet dream but by god, they’re fun.

A magnificent setlist including the typically harmonica-driven God Knows, the thumping Echoes which showcased Fox’s underrated vocal abilities, a new track entitled Dying Breed which had huge tempo changes more than matching those of the earlier two bands and, a personal highlight, Reunion Ball.

The adrenaline in that room when they were on stage absolutely skyrocketed. My journalistic integrity has been perhaps irreparably damaged by the band – less than halfway through their set I could no longer resist chucking the notebook down and heading for a headbang with the rest of an ecstatic Fibbers.

Hijak Oscar released five long years of pent-up energy in one night and it was absolutely perfect.

In the name of charity, we salute them.