Hookworms @ Holy Trinity Church, 28/10/16

As part of a series of Beacons Metro events spanning venues all over Leeds, they teamed up with Super Friendz to bring Leeds locals Hookworms to Holy Trinity Church, alongside an eclectic support lineup.

A raging psychedelic-punk band playing in a church could have gone two ways. Either Hookworms would create an unlikely, yet captivating juxtaposition, filling the traditional setting with their crazy, boundary pushing creations. Otherwise, the atmosphere would be swallowed by the sheer unsuitability of their sound to a church. Across the evening, the gig seemed to teeter between these scenarios.

Generally, Hookworms’ set was energetic, well-played and exciting to watch. Their recorded music was brought to life with layers upon layers of synthesisers and samplers. Highlights came in the form of ‘The Impasse’ and its seamless transition into ‘On Leaving’, paying perfect homage to second album The Hum. Lead singer and keyboardist MJ brought a driving passion to the performance which mesmerised those around him.

Aside from Hookworms, Virginia Wing were without a doubt the peak of the night’s support. Combining airy vocals with powerful, almost violent, instrumentation, it made for a truly hypnotising performance. Holy Trinity Church itself was a beautiful venue put to good use, with hypnotising projections blown onto the stained glass windows at the back, making for a very intriguing use of the space.

What let this fantastic show down was that the church just does not work as a venue. With no stage, only a tiny fraction of the audience at the front has the chance to feel involved in the show, with the rest left standing slightly clueless and detached. It seemed to suck energy out of what should have been an overwhelming response to a great set.

Isobel Moloney

(Image: The Guardian)

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