It’s a Tuesday night at The Monarch, a quaint little pub nestled in the heart of Chalk Farm Road in Camden. Patrons range from young trendy twenty-something hipsters and groups in their early thirties on a night out to rough around the edges older men dressed head to toe in denim who just wanted to knock back a few pints and play some pool. Over the soundtrack of jazz and 60’s soul you hear the band performing their sound check and slowly the venue’s melting pot of ages circled around the stage.
Hares’ sound combines the chaotic soul of ‘Exile’ era Rolling Stones, the country twang of Gram Parsons and the jangle pop of Teenage Fanclub with the lyrical melancholy of Elvis Costello. Their songs have a great soft-hard dynamic where bouncy jangle pop suddenly turns to fast punk inspired choruses, These sudden changes feel natural as the band string it all together with these great melodies which contain cues from 60 and 70’s pop. Their lyrics are simple and catchy but not overly simplistic and they stick. “Some Girl Some Day” grabs you with its contagious melodies and lyrics that beg to be sung along to.
The band didn’t take themselves too seriously and looked like they were having a great time during the set. A real highpoint of the concert was when the band went into a brilliant cover of “Rhinestone Cowboy”, accompanied by a cello. The cover was fun and highly unexpected but it didn’t feel cheesy or ironic. They didn’t let the fact that they stood on a stage the size of a shoebox stop them from moving about. Front man Robb Skipper interacted with crowd well with short witty quips and a bit of quirky banter making for a very intimate experience. It’s refreshing to see an indie rock band without the usual pretentious attitude.
Hares have all the ingredients to be a very successful act. Their no frills melodies are catchy. They have the right amount of quirkiness and despite their obvious influences have a sound that is all their own. On top of all of this they offer a rousing and energetic live show that is down to earth while and bursts with enthusiasm. Hares’ infectious guitar pop is not to be ignored.