Hello 2019 LICE, 404, Squid and Haze kick off Hello 2019 in hedonistic, sweaty style

The first of four new band nights at the Old Blue Last was packed to the seams.

Every year, DIY descends on the Old Blue Last for a four-week series of gigs designed to dust off the cobwebs of Christmas, kick open the musical doors of the new year and showcase some of the bands we’re most excited about tearing the next 12 months a new one.

Fitting, then, that the first night of Hello 2019 should feature four of the most uncompromising artists on our current radar; all sonically treading their own paths, from twitchy art punk to wildcard hip hop, they’re a disparate bunch, but united by conviction and a more-than-capable ability to whip up a crowd. January lethargy doesn’t stand a chance.

First up are Bristol boys Haze, fresh from supporting DIY faves and Class of 2019 stars Whenyoung on their recent winter tour. Like the soundtrack to the grottiest, back-alley barn dance around, their ramshackle hoe-down channels murky punk forefathers Country Teasers and the more recent rabble to come out of South London. But there’s a twinkle in their eyes that show Haze are having a little more fun than many of their embittered peers. For a start, a recent single goes by the name of ‘Ladz Ladz Ladz’; for seconds, their bassist has a perpetual booty-shaking side-to-side shuffle going on that’s strangely hypnotic. The combination makes for a far more playful affair than their anxious on-record rattles might suggest. And sure, currently most of their material treads a fairly similar path, but for a new band, there’s enough solid groundwork there to begin the build on something with potential.

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