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Happyness - Think Tank, Newcastle, 24/4/2017

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 27 / 5 / 2017

Happyness - Think Tank, Newcastle, 24/4/2017


Adrian Huggins sees London-based purveyors of college rock Happyness bring their sunshine to a rainy Newcastle

On an unreasonably cold April night recently, London three-piece Happyness bestowed their delightful college-rock-meets-upbeat-shoegaze noise on the expectant residents of the city of Newcastle. After all, who doesn’t love a Monday night gig? The band played to a fairly well attended Think Tank, a fantastic venue that consistently hosts great bands and is also blessed with a great sound, or at least really good gear and a good soundman which is befitting of a band such as Happyness who sounded clear as a whistle, giving punters the optimum chance of achieving climactic eargasm. Happyness are the combined human entities commonly known as Benji Compston (Guitar/Keyboards/Vocals), Jon EE Allan (Guitar/Vocals/Bass) and Ash Cooper (Drums). They are joined by a stick-thin model-looking Frenchman on bass for the purposes of playing live. Having seen Happyness before at the End of the Road festival I felt this extra member helped the band hone their sound, giving them free reign to better replicate their studio sound. Even if the Frenchman in question made me green with envy with his gorgeous hair and minimal waisline (God I hate the youngsters sometimes), looking all good. The band's set was a perfect blend of material from their first album ‘Weird Little Birthday’ and their very recent album ‘Write In’. The earlier half of the set was drawn predominately from their older material which lends itself so well to the live setting, the extra energy and extra volume lifting songs like ‘Everything I Do Is All Right’ and ‘Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste The Same’. The dreamier moments sounded sublime live, and well and truly shut the audience up, which created a pin-dropping atmosphere for songs like ‘The C is A B A G’, which was crystal clear. The three boys and magnificent Frenchman showed off their mellow side helping you forget that it was not only a Monday night, but a rainy and a cold one. All negativity is blown away when Happyness make their way through the likes of ‘Falling Down’, ‘Bigger Glass, Lesser Full’ and the Teenage Fanclub-tastic ‘Anna Lisa Calls’ - an instant live classic. Predominant lead singer Jon EE Allan delivers the odd quip from his ever wry smiling mouth in-between songs but the joy of seeing this band like really comes from witnessing how much they are enjoying playing the songs. You get distinct impression that if they were not in the band they would be the ones stood at the front making the most of it. The band finishes their set with the award winning song ‘Montreal Rock Band Somewhere’, really hammering home just how perfect they sound live - managing to pull off the gentle moments without losing anything in the live setting.

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Happyness - Think Tank, Newcastle, 24/4/2017

Happyness - Think Tank, Newcastle, 24/4/2017

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