Hooton Tennis Club, Portland Arms, Cambridge, 4 Nov 2016

Earlier in the evening, the Sgt Pepper album was playing to the steadily growing audience, soon to be treated to the sounds of SWEAT, a South London five-piece brimming with talent and swagger.
The songs usually grew from a keyboard theme, with a distinctive 70s analogue tone. Add the full might of drums, guitar and powerful bass and it was a heady brew, topped off by the riveting stage presence of the lead singer (and tambourine exponent!). The songs maintain a hypnotic groove, reflected in the enthusiastic response of the crowd. It was a great start to the show, keep an eye out for their next appearance..

Hooton Tennis Club are a four-piece from the Wirral, on the road to promote their second album ‘Big Box Of Chocolates’, produced by the band and indie legend Edwyn Collins. With that title you would expect a varying range of delights and many featured in the show tonight, each of the intriguing titles describing a mini-confection of regret, unrequited emotions and eccentric characters.

The band gel very well on stage, with Ryan Murphy and James Madden as lead singers/guitarists taking turns with different songs, reinforced with rock-solid drums from Harry Chalmers and the always animated bass playing of Ryan McFadden. ‘Meet Me At The Molly Bench’ is wistful nostalgia, the recent single ‘Katy-Anne Bellis’ is the lingering memory of an ex-flatmate, while ‘Statue Of The Greatest Woman I Know’ is a rock and roll blast.

My favourite is the slower ‘Sit Like Ravi’, with a great hookline and summer jazz mood. They finished with two highlights from their debut album ‘Always Coming Back 2 You’ and the slightly sinister ‘P.O.W.E.R.F.U.L. P.I.E.R.R.E’, (always good to hear a song with a spelt out chorus…)

(Unfortunately they didn’t play ‘Frostbitten In Fen Ditton’, named after an unfortunate experience here in Cambridge but hopefully we will hear that next time around….)

http://www.heavenlyrecordings.com/author/hooton-tennis-club/

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