Hibou @ Hyde Park Book Club 30/02/2020

He may be a few thousand miles from his base in Seattle, but the audience could tell dream-pop band Hibou seemed very much at home in our very own Hyde Park Book Club.

The band first formed in 2013, and consists solely of Peter Michel, but he brought a drummer, a bassist and a keyboardist along for this tour. Since his debut self-titled record was released in 2015, Hibou has released two subsequent albums, currently promoting the most recent release, Halve (2019). This album feels very nostalgic; the sound is based mostly on synths and soft beats and would not be out of place if played on a beach or in so-called ‘hipster’ coffee shop – hence why Hyde Park Book Club was probably their perfect venue. 

” the band transported us to summer in Seattle rather than January in Leeds “

The relaxing atmosphere Hibou’s music creates translates differently on a stage. It was a welcome surprise for me to find that the band wanted to have a boogie and instead of making me fall into the kind of whacky trance I was expecting, I actually felt myself wanting to dance. I definitely was not alone in this because Hibou were certainly crowd pleasers. The other members of the audience were either bopping along or tapping their feet, or even, as a man at the front was, living their best lives dancing like no one was watching. The band really brought the dingy basement to life and transported us to summer in Seattle rather than January in Leeds.

My highlight live, just as it is one of my highlights from Halve, was ‘Inside Illumination’. It was one of the last songs in the set and I think this particular track not only showcased how well Michel worked with his fellow musicians, but also how much fun these musicians were having on stage. Michel himself was dancing away from the mic as he was playing his riffs on his guitar. Book Club’s small stage really did not restrict the band’s energy and resulted in a full forty-five minutes of unadulterated fun.

Sarah Jewers