Proper entertainment from the Leeds act
If you want sheer entertainment in your music, look no further than The Hair - this is indie music you can dance to. Of course, labelling the band indie would be pretty inaccurate, as The Hair blend hip hop, funk, jazz, and disjointed indie together. They aren't a band to stay still on stage either, unlike other acts of that genre, preferring to dance and jump around instead.
The eccentricity begins straight away, as the lads launch into an aural onslaught with 'Brick Supply'. It's hard to resist the urge to dance, but some people in the audience are not convinced. Three things spring to mind with this song: the Beastie Boys, funk, and fusion jazz (although punk was nestled in there too). The bassline is so thick you could use it as a ropewalk, but it's the keyboardist, Neil, that shines out. The enthusiasm with which he plays that instrument is catching - and it's worth just watching him for that - but the spacey, eighties' sounds are really cool.
The Hair are obviously proud to be Northerners, as vocalist Sam declares that they're from "near Leeds for the geographically challenged", not that he gets much of a response. But it's good to see a band happy to chat to the audience, before playing 'Jigsaw Ballard' - a song that shows that there's more to a piano riff than Keane, Elton John, or the Scissor Sisters - it positively borders on Baroque. It may be dark and moody, but the anguished vocals give it urgency. It's not surprising to learn, however, that the Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand are slated as influences given the new wave feel of the next one. Despite it being more standard than the previous two songs, the beat and bassline are still chunky and dark as hell.
By this time, most of the crowd are getting into it and not just the band, who declare that "the next one will make you stomp your feet too" (and their stuff wasn't already?). Still, he's right, with a blistering start to 'Right Foot, Left Foot' which has a funky bassline that channels the spirit of the Scissor Sisters and Sam's impassioned cries fit right in. The disjointed beat is matched by nervy dancing from him too. This is all followed by the best song of the night, a crazy but inspired use of old-fashioned recorded voices over a tune that came from Madchester via Brazil. It should sound odd, but it's blended together so well it doesn't.
The in-between song banter sometimes appears to be quite muffled and apologetic, almost as if the band are embarrassed - totally opposite to the music. 'I'm Sorry But I Want Your Girlfriend', "about the injustices of the world, if you dress like Fran Cosgrave, you get a pretty girlfriend", is a case in point. The samba beat makes another appearance but this time there are hints of Do Me Bad Things complete with spacey whooshing sounds.
But there's nothing awkward about their last song, 'Hooker', which finds Madness hijacking proceedings and playing some mad ska disco tune. It's so good for dancing though - the beat's so seductive I'm dancing without realising it. Like the first song, 'Hooker' is funk, hip hop, and indie all rolled into one and it sounds fresh. At least ten minutes long, the Hair stop start their way to an awesome drum solo. Chaotic and frenetic, it sums up the whole Hair live experience.
At the start of the night, I was apprehensive because the Metro is quite hit and miss, but this has to be one of the more enjoyable gigs I've been to. Go check the Hair out, they rock.