Updated: Apr 8
Friday saw the end of Hope D's Clash of the Substance tour, in support of her excellent debut album of the same name, and it went off with a bang.
It was a sold-out show at the Triffid, with tons of singing along, and lots of fans old and young enjoying the night (some very young- I saw some kids at the end of the show rocking the flannel pj and slipper look which is something I think we all need to get on for future gigs).
The Dandys started the night off strong with half an hour of grungy rock and guitar riffs that instantly command your attention. A mix of unreleased numbers- including ‘Smile More’, which vocalist Mads promised is 'coming very soon'-, and an absolutely incredible cover of Wet Leg’s 'Chaise Longue' get the already massive crowd energised and moving from the start before they wrap it up with two of their previous releases- ‘Lemons’ and ‘Good Life’.
The crowd absolutely adores this band, and they have such immense stage presence it's no surprise why- they're this immense explosion of rock, and a brilliant first act.
Asha Jefferies takes to the stage next, joined by her tank-top adorned band, and launches into the ruminative ‘Bad Kisser’. Her style is pretty different to The Dandys, but you can see similarities with just how entranced the audience is with both acts. Asha’s music feels like an emotional release- its reflective and tender, but sweet and joyous too.
'Dance Floor' is enchanting, and an unreleased song that Asha exclaims ‘is about being depressed at Christmas!’ is surprisingly sweet and cheery- Asha brings out The Dandys and Hope D and her band, to join her in a dance routine on stage.
The set ends with ‘Tank Tops’, which is such a gorgeous song- urgent, reflective, and full of joy, it's a really special moment live.
At 10:20 on the dot Hope D and her band take to the stage to resounding cheers. Their set is jam-packed with both old favourites and new hits from ‘Clash of the Substance’, with anecdotes and thanks to friends in between- it's really sweet and fun, and Hope creates this sense of friendly intimacy with her audience- impressive, given how totally packed out the venue is, but she's got the balance just right.
'Used to Be' is up first, followed by 'Emerald' - a huge favourite with the crowd, who start singing along as soon as Hope (literally) jumps up to the mic.
Hope's music has this gorgeous blend of tongue-in-cheek moments and sincerity, and although largely upbeat, there are a lot of emotions in the crowd for sure- after a really fun mix of songs, including gritty ‘Addict’ and absolute anthem ‘Happy Hangover’, she goes into ‘Swim’, and it's just so cathartic to hear and experience this song live.
Bringing the mood back up, Hope tells the story behind the song 'Cyclone'- it involved getting so fucked up her friends thought she was dying- and launches into the song. It's a super fun one, even more so with the backstory behind it. There’s this explosive transition into 'Senseless' which sucks you in straight away, and that song is an absolute highlight live- her entire band is on fire and her voice is so powerful.
Another crowd favourite was her 'Toxic' Like a Version- she was joined by friends who featured on the original Like a Version with her, leading to some pretty epic vocals and air guitar.
After a couple more songs, the band leaves the stage, but are almost immediately drawn back on for a loudly requested encore. Hope performs ‘Safety Nets’ solo- this song is so sweet, and perfectly captures that emotional vulnerability that comes with letting yourself fall for someone . The band then joins her for the very last song of the night, ‘Second’, and everyone has one last dance.
The Clash of the Substance tour might be over, but you can (and should!) still check out the album here: