The Hickey Underworld @ The Flowerpot, Camden 27/07/09
July 31, 2009 by Addict Music
The Flowerpot is a quaint little bar; a small intimate venue placed amongst barbers and traditional social clubs where beer flows freely. Amongst it all a little piece of Belgium has descended for a highly anticipated one off show. Heralded as the new best thing, the Hickey Underworld has already begun to ignite the stagnant rock scene that has overtaken its homeland. Comprised of two guitarists, an angry, neck straining vocalist and a beat thrashing drummer, they are visually quite an eclectic mix. With his curly extended quiff, the lead guitarist casually starts the gig with his own idea of what the night may bring; ‘this is going to be weird. This is going to be comedy or horror- I can tell it’s just going to be horror’.
On this note guitars are escalated to impenetrable heights while a thundering, impulsive rhythm section consumes the room. The only problem is the vocalist, who apparently has some pretty awesome vocals, is rarely heard. At first it seems as though each tune blends into the next until the drums fade and a distilled syncopated echo allows the words to come through. These are the moments where the Hickey Underworld seem promising, exciting, almost like a breath of fresh air
On a rendition of ‘Blonde Fire’, the music stops and a voice screams through the silence. With brash certainty, immense energy and unintentional roughness, the vocals of lead singer Younes made me feel all tingly. As he pleads ‘don’t let me walk out the door’, the underworld of this foursome emerges and their melody breaks through.
In 2006 the Hickey Underworld won Humo’s Rock Rally, Belgian’s most important rock contest, which has already launched bands like dEUS, Das Pop, Goose, Admiral Freebee and Mint. Their self titled debut album was released in March 2009 and fittingly produced by Das Pop.
With the backing of the best artists Belgium’s music scene has to offer, it seems the Hickey Underworld have found a gold mine but can they strike the jackpot outside of the home front? They must be doing something right. As we get up to leave, three young men run over to the band explaining just how incredible their sound is. While the audience was small this evening, their fan base is growing and they may just be something to look out for in the near future.
By Halina Watts