Bands to Watch #271: The Hosts

By on Friday, 30th August 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

I’ve had a Sheffield hangover for months now. No, I wasn’t at Tramlines. It was a product of an incredibly short, 24-hour flying visit to the City of Steel to see some guys I’ve come to know. I always say that fate must exist and it works in mysterious ways, because the afternoon I spent in Sheff, I was skulking around the town centre trying to find a copy of the local and beloved Sheffield Exposed free entertainment magazine. It took looking into and inquiring at some 15 different establishments until I finally chanced upon what I was looking for at Bungalows and Bears bar on Division Street.

Maybe such a magazine exists in Washington but since I don’t live in the city proper, I’ve never seen anything like Exposed. I imagine if you’re young and you happen to live in a hip, happening place like Sheffield, this is the kind of thing that becomes your regular bible, especially if you are into music, as there are always features on local bands, giving them their due. This kind of grass roots, region-specific focus strikes me as something very English (or is it something very British?), an appreciation of what is local, great and under your noses, and it was through this copy of Exposed that I learned of The Hosts. You couldn’t miss them. There was a huge, full page photo spread on the band, opposite to a very funny Q&A.

Though I’ve been advised that at least one of the Hosts’ members has alighted for Coventry, the Hosts appear to have been cut from a similar cloth to city brethren High Hazels (who I profiled in July in this Bands to Watch) and the Crookes. Something very peculiar to the city is that for much better than worse, Sheffield’s music scene has pockets that feel like they’ve been stuck in a time warp. I say this lovingly, because the bands I’ve mentioned have taken all that was good from what I have always considered the golden age of pop music songwriting – the ’50s and ’60s – and renewed my faith in music today by turning into something of their very own. The 8-year old version of myself, the one that was in love with the Beatles and ‘Please Please Me’-era Paul McCartney, would never have believed that years later I would have the chance to witness such an embracing of what went before, but with a fresh twist.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7CyKq1sSw8[/youtube]

One listen to the Hosts’ ‘Give Your Love to Her’ (a live performance – in suits! – courtesy of Exposed is above), their current single on indie band champions Fierce Panda and related Label Fandango, and you will agree with their press release that this five-piece is “the missing link between Roy Orbison and Richard Hawley“. The latter is a quite apt comparison, with the Hosts sounding not unlike solo Hawley’s pre-‘Standing at the Sky’s Edge’ output: brilliant grandeur in orchestration, with a sweeping lead vocal ready made to overwhelm you in a warm cuddle. Quite literally, with the words, “take her in your arms, don’t let go…take your love to her…”

Further, the godfather of Sheffield cool himself must be an unwavering supporter to the band, having produced earlier song ‘September Song’ (promo video below), which is quite appropriate since we usher in the new month on Sunday. “So I was waiting for you to close your eyes / so I could say goodbye”: you hear that noise? That is the sound of me sobbing. Two simple lines placed in a chorus, and yet so powerful in emotion. These days, you can guarantee whatever you find is on Radio1 and MTV being sold as a “love song” (note I used quotation marks) is oversexed and cringe-inducing. It’s like the men doing the songwriting have forgotten that the way to a woman’s heart is not by being vulgar but by appealing instead to appeal to the fairer sex’s love of beauty, and that includes in song. But not everyone has fallen prey to this disease. The Hosts, along with evidence from other Sheffield bands of late, show everyone else how it’s done. There is an art to this. And when it’s done well, it’s gorgeous.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/40995778[/vimeo]

The Hosts’ debut album with a title yet to be revealed is due to be out on Fierce Panda later this year, so we’re told, so there’s nothing left to do but wait. This is one music fan and editor who can’t wait for that release. The fact that all three bands – the Hosts, High Hazels and the Crookes – appear already to be mates makes it all less pie in the sky that maybe there will be some amazing Sheffield band tour in the future as well.

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9 Responses

12:01 pm
30th August 2013

New post: Bands to Watch #271: The Hosts @wearethehosts prove the way to a woman’s heart is through beauteous song: http://t.co/gj0IzDX5G9

12:10 pm
30th August 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: Bands to Watch #271: The Hosts @wearethehosts prove the way to a woman’s heart is through beauteous song: http://t.co/g…

12:11 pm
30th August 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: Bands to Watch #271: The Hosts @wearethehosts prove the way to a woman’s heart is through beauteous song: http://t.co/g…

12:15 pm
30th August 2013

Bands to Watch #271: @_fiercepanda’s @wearethehosts prove the way to a woman’s heart is through beauteous song: http://t.co/gj0IzDX5G9

12:47 pm
30th August 2013

RT @tgtf: Bands to Watch #271: @_fiercepanda’s @wearethehosts prove the way to a woman’s heart is through beauteous song: http://t.co/gj0Iz…

6:33 pm
30th August 2013

RT @tgtf: Bands to Watch #271: @_fiercepanda’s @wearethehosts prove the way to a woman’s heart is through beauteous song: http://t.co/gj0Iz…

6:48 pm
30th August 2013

RT @tgtf: Bands to Watch #271: @_fiercepanda’s @wearethehosts prove the way to a woman’s heart is through beauteous song: http://t.co/gj0Iz…

[…] Recent Band to Watch and nattily dressed band of musical men The Hosts announced a couple of days ago that they would opening for fellow Sheffielders the Crookes, where they will be returning to the site where it all began for the New Pop quartet. Ahead of their support slot, we asked Hosts’ frontman and ringleader Tom Hogg to humour us and answer the TGTF Quickfire Questions. His choice of alternative career isn’t much of a surprise. You’ll see, as away we go… […]

[…] of waves and them “crashing through” in the latter to describe being in love. In their Bands to Watch feature last summer, I alluded to the Hosts’ songwriting skill and how they don’t resort to anything […]

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