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Hurricane Kids @ Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland (19.12.12) | FESTIVALPHOTO

Hurricane Kids @ Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland (19.12.12)



For a band that had a 50 person crowd and a keyboardist with a broken left hand, the Hurricane Kids were surprisingly relaxed for their first ever show. Friends in the crowd were given waves and smiles were exchanged between the band. The vibes onstage were calm and carefree as they prepared their equipment before their set, suggesting that the members are all experienced and natural performers.

And what performers they were. After leaving Jared and Willy to settle onstage for some time, the speakers erupted with thunderous bass. The band walked over to their instruments one­-by-­one to a beautiful and ambient version of a familiar tune that’s eventually recognized as their debut single Tonight­ and by some miracle of fantastically rehearsed timing ­ they burst straight into the song. The crowd were bobbing their heads to the beat and watched the energy given off by Olly, who worked hard to excite a rather sober and unfamiliar audience.

The band were wonderfully tight thanks to their pre­programmed backing tracks, which helped to provide a more full sounding atmosphere to the music. Indeed, their usage threatened to make the show feel more like a borderline karaoke performance. But they pulled it off with a professionalism that’s characteristic of most modern pop artists.

That being said, it became clear after hearing their surprisingly enjoyable rendition of As Long As You Love Me (as made famous by The Backstreet Boys), that Olly is the main focus of this band in terms of sound and exuberance. His voice is definitely a strong point in the music and clear efforts in the production are made to make sure this is known. Although his numerous attempts to pump up the crowd fell flat (endlessly encouraging them to dance along), his efforts were admirable and was not to blame for the rather one­way avenue presented on the night.

Which was a shame to be honest, as their new originals such as So Beautiful and Make You Love Me possessed a catchiness that just begged to be sang along to. Asides from the rather generic lyrical topics of admiring women and pursuing their love, the band truly showed that they were unique to the NZ music industry and that no other band has even touched their sound by a mile. The songs had great dynamics and had people humming the tunes long after the show. Both received decent applause.

The main verdict: The Hurricane Kids could easily call their first show a success. The music was played well and much of the crowd came out of the venue expressing positive opinions. Unfortunately, the vibes during the show felt awkward due to a stubborn crowd that gave very little energy for the band to feed off. Perhaps it would have been nice to see the rest of the band present a similar energy to Olly to support his efforts. However, it’s still early days for the Hurricane Kids . Here’s to hoping they catch enough wind to get a little bigger.





Writer: Jay Kim
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