Review: Whitney @ Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

With their debut album already heralded as the sound of the summer – and indeed, there are few bands that embody the sweltering sunlight and refreshingly cool breeze quite like this one – Whitney have already cemented their brilliance. Making their Birmingham debut at the Hare & Hounds, the outfit bring to live mid-summers night dreams in their distinctively vibrant style.

Before they can, it’s Birmingham’s very own Swampmeat Family Band who engage the masses. Presenting classic stylings with a rock and roll attitude thrown in to boot, the band power through their performance with a timeless energy. They’re no strangers to this venue, and as such it’s their better known numbers that really get people grooving, but it’s the outing of new numbers hinting towards an imminent release that tinge the performance with an electric excitement.

Whitney‘s music might be laid back, but from the moment you watch the band take their places under the stage lights it’s instantly evident how much dexterity goes into everything they do. Swinging rhythms and soulful vocals emanate from front and centre, an extended hand ready to guide the room through the band’s richly layered sound. Dual guitars ebb and entwine, the group’s smooth synths and elated brass melodies even more spellbinding when performed in the flesh.

Singing from the heart, of the heart, it’s nigh on impossibly not to slip under the band’s spell. But honestly, why would you even try and resist? Whitney were celebrated before they arrived here, but tonight they marked themselves out as something truly sensational.

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