Her’s must be going in the right direction – when I’ve seen them in the past they’ve had an A4 print out of Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond sellotaped on to their drum machine, but this time they actually have a lifesize cardboard cut-out of him. I’ve no idea why he’s there, but he seems an integral part of their rather barmy show.
The self-described ‘jangle-pop’ duo released their dreamy 8-track Songs of Her’s earlier this year and have been touring up and down the country pretty regularly. Tonight they’re playing a sold-out show at a sauna-esque Sebright Arms in East London.
They make a complimentary couple on stage. Singer Stephen Fitzpatrick, with his freakish vocal range – usually a baritone that’s so dry it’s probably a fire hazard, but also capable of ridiculous high pitches for crooning and yelps – is a deadpan presence, while Audun Laading careers around with a big daft grin on his face, the world’s happiest bassist. Backing music is provided by the aforementioned Pierce Brosnan with his drum machine.
They kick off with favourite ‘Dorothy’ followed up by ‘Marcel’, explaining that they always play the two next to each other because they see them as an old married couple. Jangly, fast-paced ‘Speed Racer’ and the more soulful ‘What Once Was’ go down particularly well with the crowd. There are also two new songs played, neither of which were given a name – they’re not a big departure from those on Songs of Her’s, but there are enough differences to be intrigued as to what will come next year.
There’s a lot of chat, even if a fair bit of it doesn’t make much sense. They explain they didn’t make a setlist beforehand, at one point Pierce Brosnan is nearly decapitated by an errant guitar and they spend a lot of time talking over each other. There’s also a pre-announced encore, where they hide backstage and keep opening and shutting the door. It’s all dopily endearing, and if making music doesn’t work out there’s probably a decent sideline in being a comedy act.
Her’s are one of those bands that make live music fun. Of course you get to hear some good music, but you also come out feeling entertained in the broader sense of the word. Their current tour is just winding up but if you can catch them in 2018 you won’t be disappointed.