Live at Brudenell Social Club 30th October 2019
You can’t blame a band for being too popular or for doing exactly what you expected, yet those two things hampered the evening. This duo’s unique factor is their five Hangs (afficianados hate it when you call them drums, even though they are percussive, hollow and resonant when struck). A Hang is a tuned kettle drum with an original sound and range of tones. With five of them, the pair can make melodic and spacey tunes which, tied to their electronic beats provide the perfect chilling music. As such, the vibes are best soaked up recumbent on a chair or the floor and I was pleased / disappointed to see the band are so popular that it was standing room only.
The evening was just what you’d imagine, melodic wanderings on the Hangs with laid-back beats, steadily building up over the evening, though never to dancing levels. World beats and increasingly complex patterns filled the evening, even some cod-reggae. Many present didn’t perhaps realise it would be what it was and by the time we were three-quarters of an hour into the ninety minute set, friends were chatting to friends to pass the time. The Hang is an instrument invented in Switzerland, adopted by bands such as The Portico Quartet and quite distinctive in its bass sounds. It is ideal for a laid back Goa vibe, such as Hang Massive make. Danny and Markus, a UK / Swedish combo met in India and the world traveller beach sound is the essence of what they do. Tonight, in a chilly Leeds, they see themselves as bringing love, peace and good feelings to the Tykes. Sadly not to the woman who kicked off when I stood in her view of the stage to take some pictures……
The band are Buddhists, of the Tibetan tradition and keen that they spread togetherness and ask our indulgence for a few minutes of talk. They tell us the world is interconnected by the internet yet increasingly divided by hate, especially the UK. “Be the change you want to see in the world”, they say, “we are the ones we are waiting for”. By this point the annoyed woman had got tired of the hippy vibes and gone home, along with a number of other attendees.
By the time of the encore the beat had reached its max and the Hang was least evident. Ironically, this saw people dancing at last and surprised when the evening ended.
This is a band best experienced on a warm beach as the sun sets or on your headphones as you seek some space in a busy day. Perhaps next time they’ll bring deckchairs.