Review: HMLTD return to Birmingham in style

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On 16th October HMLTD brought their glammed up new rave to The Flapper, with support from Pretty Vile and Walt Disco.

Coventry duo Pretty Vile are clearly happy to be on the bill tonight, and their excitement is infectious. Smeared with blue facepaint, they blast through a set of catchy DIY-punk with unfaltering energy. ‘Fault in the System’ from their 2019 EP Outdoor Movie Theatre is a highlight, with drummer Erin West venturing into the pit armed with a mic to deliver the lead vocal.

Walt Disco‘s flamboyant art rock is sure to go down well with a HMLTD audience. Their performance is a polished homage to eighties new wave, complete with synchronised dance routines. Their frontman hanging from the front of the stage as he croons to the front row in falsetto. As line ups go, their sound is almost too close to HMLTD’s for comfort, but no one seems to mind. Their most recent single ‘Strange To Know Nothing’ is a banger, to be fair.

The drum machine purrs into action, and HMLTD kick off their set with the sultry ‘Is This What You Wanted?’ before morphing into the glitchy electronica of their 2017 hit ‘Music’. The crowd, who’ve been relatively reserved up until this point, are almost instantly at fever pitch. The band come across as seasoned performers, cutting shapes on the Flapper‘s modest stage. They’ve even brought their own gimp, a hooded figure who creeps around the stage wearing a HMLTD shirt and snapping photos.

Live, HMLTD’s songs seamlessly weave kitschy guitar lines and pop vocals with atmospheric electronica and formidable beats. It shouldn’t work, but it does – and the sweaty basement of the Flapper can attest to that.

Read: Review: HMLTD bring sweat and smeared make-up to the Hare & Hounds

Read: Venue guide: The Flapper, Birmingham

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Emily Doyle

Visual artist, multi-instrumentalist, and scrounger. Always wearing headphones, probably listening to Ezra Furman, Sleater-Kinney or Goat.