That hallowed time has rolled around yet again. The first month of a new year might be, in part, dedicated to rasping ‘Happy New Year’ at casual acquaintances everywhere until February hits like a poorly anticipated but bang-on-time party guest, but it’s also the month where DIY teams up with London venue The Old Blue Last to put on some of the most ruddy exciting new bands in the country.
Proceedings kick off for a fourth year running tonight, and for the rest of the month, we’ll see you next Tuesday (no - not like that! Every Hello 2016 gig is actually on a Tuesday). Norwegian punks Slutface head the rammed bill for the first edition tonight (5th Jan), along with Brighton rabble-rousers Abattoir Blues, former Let’s Wrestle man Wesley Gonzalez, and the inescapable newcomers Shame. On the near-horizon, the likes of Diet Cig, Pumarosa, GIRLI, and Babeheaven are all set to take to the Old Blue’s stage, too.
Odds are, many of these bright new acts are set to zoom straight to the stratosphere; if the rocket-propelled bunch who have graced previous shows are anything to go by, anyway. Ahead of proceedings tonight, we take a look back at previous Hello… bands, and where they are now.
Honeyblood (Hello 2014)
What we said then: “Honeyblood are a completely different entity altogether… When this debut eventually arrives, it could be one of the most dynamic, all-invested first works of the year.”
Where are they now? Delivering on early promise in the shedload with that Peter Katis-produced debut, powerhouse drummer Cat Myers has since joined a reshuffled Honeyblood. Along with frontwoman Stina Tweeddale, the pair are going from strength to strength, and LP2 is shaping up into a right belter.
Girl Band (Hello 2015)
What we said then: “When they started out, there was a nonchalance to Girl Band’s delivery. Nice jumpers, nasty songs - there was a sense of courtesy to the Dublin group, running counter to a maddening, death chamber sound. Now there’s a spring in their step. Dara Kiely and co. at least look like they’re beginning to grasp just how far they can truly go. Not only do they have a record deal under their belts - there’s a swagger to their every move, reality biting down on a fresh wound. Just imagine what could happen next:”
Where are they now? As well as helping to advertise popular branded hazelnut and chocolate spread Nutella (Nutella, Nutella… Nutella, Nutella!) Girl Band have garnered a fierce reputation as one of the best live bands about right now, also releasing batshit debut ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’. They also took DIY out for a fry-up, which was nice of ‘em.
Wolf Alice (Hello 2013)
What we said then: “Wolf Alice’s set is undeniably being viewed with an industry-led curiosity… but real people turn up in their masses, seemingly outnumbering the odd A&R scout scattered across the venue. By the time ‘Fluffy’ departs there’s a tangible sense at having seen something significant. The song, a mere day old, sounds vital and remarkably familiar.”
Where are they now? Dunno, tbh. Has anyone seen this lot knocking about lately?
Black Honey (Hello 2015)
What we said then: “A previously anonymous entity - they sent dodgy messages to people on WhatsApp for a few months, without revealing identities - Black Honey’s live presence couldn’t be more direct. It’s led by Izzy B Phillips, who screams through guitar sections that’ve come straight out a Tarantino flick. It’s not the final package, but there’s every reason to believe that, given a few months, Black Honey could be one of the country’s most important new bands. No overstatement.”
Where are they now? Black Honey might’ve stopped sending us smutty Whatapps, but otherwise, they’ve started out exactly as they mean to continue, and these days, they’re in our Class of 2016. Packing off on tour with Gerry the flamingo in tow has taken this Brighton lot to new levels, honing and polishing that initial magic into something really special. Watch this space, basically.
JAWS (Hello 2013)
What we said then: “Assured headliners, their nostalgia-fused beach-pop is blatantly eager to play stages ten times bigger than the one they grace tonight.”
Where are they now? Currently squirrelled away in the studio, and hard at work on their second record, 2016 could be yours, JAWS.
Spring King (Hello 2014)
What we said then: Gang mentality runs riot, with chants being forced out in grand unison. There’s a loose sense of chaos, but in equal measure this frenzied nature is rehearsed to a T. Considering the apparent “lo-fi” beginnings of this project, it’s showcasing a whole lot more in the flesh.”
Where are they now? Drummer-stroke-frontman Tarek still hasn’t stopped vomming up during shows, but in other news, Zane Lowe chose Spring King’s song ‘City’ as his first ever track to spin on Beats1. No biggy, or anything like that.
DIY’s Hello 2016 kicks off tonight (5th Jan) with Slutface, Abattoir Blues, Shame, and Wesley Gonzalez. New bands galore play London’s Old Blue Last every single Tuesday in January. Head to DIY Presents for more details.