Clambering onto the stage in a host of wacky outfits (I couldn’t quite work out what theme they were going for but think Clockwork Orange make up and colourful attire!) and looking a tad flustered, the six piece fronted by platinum blonde beauty Beth, kicked off their set with ‘Atlas’ and set the immaculate tone for the rest of the gig.
After attributing their sheepish looks as they stepped on stage to the embarrassment of being caught ‘warm up dancing’ in the room adjacent, the band went full steam ahead with an assortment of tracks from debut album Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose whilst throwing in some new and old tracks for good measure.
Particularly enjoyable were album tracks ‘Dodecahedron’ and ‘Lilyput’, which showcased both the impressive vocal ability of Beth and the bands exceptional talent for harmonising. The contrast between the earthy vocals of her male counterparts and her own haunting tone is mesmerizing and an attribute which simply listening on record does not do justice.
Against the backdrop of the exhilarating and at times melancholy folk sounds which come from the five other band members which stand behind and alongside her playing an assortment of instruments from violins to trumpets, Beth’s voice is captivating. They complement each other exceptionally and though band members sometimes fade into the background behind their front man or woman, the ‘Hooves’ are impossible to ignore.
A mash-up of folk and indie pop, Beth Jeans Houghton and the Hooves of Destiny are a band which seem to own their sound, have fun while they’re doing it and against their growing success, remain humble – asking if anyone was only there because their friend bought them certainly gave the impression that they don’t realise how good they are!
Words : Tania Burnham