Thee Hypnotics are back after a long span of inactivity to tour in promotion of their new “Righteously Re-Charged” box set. I think this was a reunion lots of fans wanted but didn’t truly expect to happen, because of the band’s past and just how long it had been. The Brudenell tonight is the perfect setting for the scene, attracting dyed in the wool music fans to witness the band’s return. Fans from across the world had come to see Thee Hypnotics play live again for the first time in some 20 years, which highlights how much of a cult following the band has.
Support acts for the night were the Mesmer Disciples and the Hip Priests, the former of which suit the bill perfectly whereas the latter was a complete mismatch with their matching cut-off denims and fast-paced “shouty-punk” rock sound. I think they would’ve fit perfectly for a different headliner, like The Wildhearts perhaps. Tonight they stuck out like a sore thumb among the psyched-out grungy rock feeling of the event.
Thee Hypnotics launch with “Soul Trader”, one of the flagships for their 60s meets brink-of-the-90s sound, a trip of grungey psychedelic rock. Guitarist Ray Hanson dominates their sound and stage, leading the band through a Stooges renaissance, while vocalist Jim Jones shouts and hollers the audience into a (small) frenzy. The excitement was palpable, with many in the audience waiting for this reunion for a long time. Next, Thee Hypnotics kick it back with “Heavy Liquid”, probably one of the best songs of the night, with its big dirty guitar riffs and all over heavy groove.
For the rest of their set, Thee Hypnotics keep up the noise, with highlights being the Bond-theme-esque “Shakedown” and the energetic “Come Down Heavy”. The band take things down a notch during “Revolution Stone”, dropping to the knees and moving akin to a ritual of sorts, with clapping and pointing, thoroughly hypnotising the audience.
If you missed this show you still have a chance to see Thee Hypnotics at the Lantern in Halifax on the 1st and 2nd of June, and Brighton’s Hope & Ruin the following night.