BERRIES + HURTLING – OSLO, HACKNEY, LONDON 31.3.23
Last night’s concert at Oslo Hackney was a true showcase of the vibrant and exciting music scene in London – even when the heavens are relentlessly opening outside on the dismal damp streets of East London.
The venue, largely full and packed with a decent cross-section of demographic representatives, are all here to see BERRIES (always written in capitals), the garage-rock trio at the end of a rather triumphant week tour around England.
From the moment BERRIES took the stage, it was clear that the audience was warm and receptive. Their album ‘How We Function’ has already garnered a host of favourable reviews and tonight is the culmination of their week long victory lap.
The trio’s sound was a fun blend of indie rock, post-punk, and late seventies’ new wave, with driving basslines, pounding drums, and burning guitar riffs that made up for the thunderous rain outside.
Holly, Lauren and Lexi are exceedingly tight musically, and the band’s setlist included some of their most beloved tracks, like ‘Siren’, ‘Lies’ and ‘Control’, (which was released as their new single yesterday through Xtra Mile Recordings – check it out HERE), as well as newer material like ‘Basic Tables’ (very Television-sounding) and ‘Copy’.
However, the standout moments of the set were undoubtedly ‘Wall Of Noise’ and ‘We Are Machines’. These tracks showcased the band’s ability to build tension and release it with explosive choruses and dynamic instrumentation, creating a sense of urgency and excitement that had the audience cheering and dancing.
Despite the high energy and tight musicianship, the stage demeanour of BERRIES is still very humbled and down-to-earth; a stark juxtaposition to their musicianship.
The band engaged in many amusing anecdotes, from celebrating their dad’s penchant for driving their van to gigs or asking the audience about musically time signatures (Think the answer was 11/16 but no one can be sure). BERRIES are certainly infectious; one can see a journey ahead of bigger things.
Check out BERRIES music on their Bandcamp page HERE.
Holly – guitar and vocals
Lauren – bass
Lexi – drums
‘Spiral’ (from 2022 ‘How We Function’ album)
‘The Expert’ (from 2022 ‘How We Function’ album)
‘Siren’ (from 2022 ‘How We Function’ album)
‘Lies’ (from 2019 ‘Lies’ EP)
‘Control’ (a 2023 single)
‘Basic Tables’ (from 2022 ‘How We Function’ album)
‘Copy’ (from 2022 ‘How We Function’ album)
‘Strength In Numbers’ (from 2022 ‘How We Function’ album)
‘Grow’ (from 2022 ‘How We Function’ album)
‘Wall Of Noise’ (from 2022 ‘How We Function’ album)
‘We Are Machines’ (from 2022 ‘How We Function’ album)
‘Silent’ (from 2019 ‘Lies’ EP)
Supporting act Hurtling also put on a strong showing, with a sound that was both powerful and nuanced. The band’s mix of grunge, shoegaze, and post-rock created a rich and varied sound that was both heavy and emotive when they allowed themselves to let rip.
Hurtling’s songs are a touch uneven – some of the sonic landscape can be rather plodding and shoe-gaze when all-of-a-sudden something exciting explodes on stage and suddenly one understands why this band exists. It’s a shame there aren’t more of these nuclear moments – because the crowd loved each one.
Lead guitarist Jen Macro pushed from the front; her musicianship allowed its powerful guitar noise-mesh to do the talking. Bassist Simon Kobayashi (Just recently married according to Jen) provided a solid foundation for his bandmates to build on, and they could just have easily been the headline band in Hackney.
Despite the occasional distraction from the noisy and impolite chatty crowd, it was probably a better Friday than most people around the capital were having. Berries and Hurtling both brought their A-game and each band definitely left Hackney with more fans than they had at the start.
Hurtling’s music can be located on Bandcamp.
Jen Macro – vocals/guitar
Simon Kobayashi – bass
Jon Clayton – drums
‘Feel It’ (from 2019 ‘Future From Here’ album)
‘Blank It Out’ (from 2019 ‘Future From Here’ album)
‘Summer’ (from 2019 ‘Future From Here’ album)
‘5 By 5’
‘War And Peace’
‘Peace And Love’
‘Memory Cassette’ (from 2019 ‘Future From Here’ album)