Hadouken!, The Scala, London
Thursday 04 February 2010
“Does anyone remember 1992?” shouts Hadouken! singer James Smith. Judging by the appearence of Smith and the fresh-faced crowd, I'd be surprised if anybody actually does. A smattering of grunts from the back proves my point.
I don’t count myself as an elder but tonight I feel ancient. I work my way to the back of venue expecting to be grouped with the twenty-somethings, but, alas, it was cool kids left, right and centre. It’s what I imagine a gig in the Channel 4 show Skins would be like; strobe lighting, circle pits, swearing and plenty of posing in front of cameras with emo pouts and floppy fringes.
It brought me back to my youth watching gigs at the Leicester Charlotte, but now, at 25, such memories are a thing of the past and I find myself frightened by the teenage rave scene.
Taking their name from the Street Fighter video game manoeuvre, Hadouken! grab 90's trance and emotional rock with their sweaty hands and tie them together to create a colourful spectrum of grimey dance. There are points where I feel like I’m at a school disco watching a half decent Prodigy cover band but regardless, there is something energetic and angry about this lot that I rather like.
A mascot mouse appears on stage and dances to the drum ‘n’ bass chaos, which to the sober eye seems a little silly and immature. But, as everyone seems to be encouraging this strange mouse thing, it's perhaps best to see it as a furry Bez.
Smith is a frontman full of likeable anger and energy. He and his band tick many of the requisit boxes for such a band: screaming, shouting, old school loops. The rapping may be a bit Jedward at times but Hadouken! do have the power to keep the kids moshing.
Halfway into the set Smith announces that he wants to “get this party started”. Cut to me looking confused: I thought the party was well and truly started and, in fact, was getting closer to kicking out and cleaning up time. Another 20 minutes with this band seems like more effort that my weekly 4km treadmill attempts. I’m completely worn out.
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