Live Review : Hippo Campus w/ Toothless: The Fleece, Bristol

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Hippo Campus return to British shores to grace us with their ever perfect dreamy energetic melodies, at Bristol’s number 1 sweat fest The Fleece.

Tour support came in the form of Toothless, which is the bassist from Bombay Bicycle Club moving from the side to the centre. A short 6 song set saw the 5 piece go through some songs that had a very similar feel to that of Bombay Bicycle Club, the songwriting influence from the parent band was quite apparent. Dynamic drums and dreamy keyboards set the band apart from the horde of generic bands of similar vain. You probably would never have guessed frontman Ed Nash isn’t a native frontman. The gent looked in his absolute element front centre, with a smile beaming for most of the set. He looked like he enjoyed it, and it certainly rubbed off to those in his peripheral vision.

Headliners Hippo Campus certainly aren’t the most vanilla band you’ll find. Frontman Jake Lupen took to the stage wearing futuristic trainers and a coat reminiscent of an 80’s skiing movie. These guys are energetic – they don’t stop. Bouncing all over the place whilst still delivering an intricate performance. Jake delivered a sassy performance out front, subtle variations melodically mixed with plenty of random ‘braps’ and ‘skrrtts’, unsure if this was his attempt at fitting in with the British youth or he’s just a little quirky. Either way, the band was flawless. Guitarist Nathan delivering a performance on his wood and string that even your Eric Clapton loving Dad’s would be impressed by; it should come as no surprise perhaps, after all, these guys met at a performing arts school and have since applied their learnings in multiple countries.

Emotionally evoking songs, such as Monsoon don’t feel out of place among the more hectic numbers such as Suicide Saturday and Western Kids. The set had all flavours of their back catalogue. It’s worth mentioning their recent EP release Warm Glow featured what’s sure to be a live favourite, in Baseball. The upbeat bouncy number perhaps being the highlight of the night, alongside the penultimate Buttercup.

Coming away from Hippo Campus, I couldn’t help but think this band is only destined for greatness. One of the most immaculate live bands I’ve ever had the joy to witness. I couldn’t recommend checking these guys out, and catching a show, more!

-Words + Photos : Nick Tucker

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