What’s the most amount of money you’ve spent in one go? I can’t remember how much I exactly spent, but mine was when I brought tickets to go and see The Hunna at Southampton Guildhall. The bands that I usually go to watch are small, so only a select few people want to come with me. But when it was announced that The Hunna were going to be playing (relatively) local to Portsmouth, the ‘Lads Groupchat’ erupted.
“We have to go!” “OMG we are getting tickets!” You get the picture; we were pretty hyped about this one. The Hunna are one of those bands that you listen to and instantly fall in love with their music, so since the release of their debut album I had been desperate to see them live.
And this was my chance- finally, after all of that waiting they were coming down south (and I had the financial funds to go this time.) However, anyone who has been to a gig with a big group of mates knows its not easy to organise the ticket-getting side of things. Seated or standing? That was an easy one. If you go to a gig and sit down, I think you should take up bingo as a hobby rather than live music. But there were higher hurdles to climb. Firstly, who was going to get the tickets? Do we all buy separately? That was destined to go wrong, especially with my group of mates. We aren’t the brightest bunch that’s for sure.
So after a while of deciding whether I should end up offering my bank account to be a good charitable Samaritan, the friend we all need in our lives- I gave in.
“I’ll get the tickets lads.” What an angel, right? “You better pay me back or you’re not coming.” Not so holy.
Nonetheless, that’s how I ended up spending a lot of money in one sitting. Then we all had to make sure we were free for that day. That was probably the complete wrong order to do things in, but luck was on our side. It seemed that we were almost all set and had something to look forward to. There isn’t much of that when you’re in your second year of college, believe me.
The final stage of this pre-gig planning session was to confirm our commitment. It was essential that everyone was just as excited as one another. Check, they most certainly were. Was everyone willing to tell their college lecturers that they had a doctors appointment so we could get the train on time? Check again. Works everytime. We were good to go.
And noone was lying, either. When the day finally came (it felt like it never would, like that period of time trying to get to sleep on Christmas Eve as a kid) all 5 of us met up at Cosham train station. I never stuck to my threat, evidently, because 2 of the lads still hadn’t payed me back by this point. This didn’t stop me from handing them their tickets and telling them not to lose it, as if I was their parent.
The train journey was smooth and left us with 2 hours to kill by the time we reached Southampton Central. We didn’t even have to look at eachother and we already knew where we were going to end up. It was as if the spirit of the succulent chicken heavens summonded us into its lair. Erm, yeah, we ended up in Nandos. Its basically a tradition now.
No longer possesed by the chicken thing that I just made up, we joined the queue outside of the Guildhall. We were relatively close to the doors, considering we arrived fairly close to the opening times, and after shrugging off the fake merchandise sellers and the one-tooth-entry-snatchers trying to give you a fiver for your ticket, we got into the venue.
Southampton Guildhall is a pretty big venue, especially considering one of my mates was about to lose his gig virginity. That didn’t stop us from dragging him to the front to go shoulder to shoulder with the dreaded barrier monsters. If you don’t know what these despicable creatures are, check out my other posts. You’ll soon learn they are not to be taken lightly.
Happy with our spot, we awaited the first warm up to come onto the stage and blow us away. And blow us away they did. So much in fact that I dedicated the post Night Rioting in Southampton solely to them. They’re called Night Riots, and they were something else on that cold night in Sot’on.
Not long after, the second act of the night appeared wearing floral t-shirts and summer chinos. Although it was a bit chilly for all that, the band are called Coasts, so I guess it was suitable. Before the gig I was already pretty into them. I had fallen in love with their self-titled debut album, and recognised their iconic song ‘Tonight’ from the Fifa 16 soundtrack. But I wasn’t quite as stimulated when seeing them live for the first time. Admittedly, I came in with high expectations which is often a dangerous game when concerning live music. It wasn’t the band. It was the music. A lot of the songs are based around the lead synyth and keyboard, which to me sounds exactly the same when live. That isn’t a bad thing of course; it just felt like I could have hooked my Spotify up to the amps and it would have sounded the same. And I would have charged less, your mistake Guildhall.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love Coasts’ music, but when they left the stage I felt no emotion. I did, however, become very excited for The Hunna to arrive. And arrive they did. The Hunna didn’t have to save any of their songs for the latter half of the gig, when the ‘better’ ones are played, because every one of them is a ‘better song.’ They kicked off the night with the quality tune ‘Bonfire,’ instantly getting the crowd bouncing (and those die-hard fan girls screaming, right in my bloody ear.) In similar fashion they played through their debut album ‘100’ flawlessly. Eventually, they got to the inevitable ‘slow song,’ Sycamore Tree. When I first heard this song, the singer (Ryan/Valentino) gifted me goosebumps. His voice mixed with the slow guitar should be heard by everyone on the planet. I remember thinking to myself, “I bet he can’t do that live.” I don’t think I have ever been proven so wrong in my entire life. It was as if the power of Whitney Houston’s vocals had been reincarnated into this little blonde man who fronted possibly the coolest band around.
After the crowd had stopped waving their phone torches and a few people had wiped their tears away, we were all just left stood up, amazed, as the band decided to take a break. I was left realising ‘Tino isn’t human. How is it fair for him to sing like that, and for me to struggle hitting notes in ‘Happy Birthday’? Previously seperated by the waves of intense mosh pits, me and my mosh-partner managed to regroup with the rest of the lads. My mate who was mid-way losing his virginity was in awe, loving every second. And if you decided to start reading from this point, you’re probably a little weirded out.
The Hunna came back out, and to conclude they featured 3 of the songs that are to feature on their new album, Dare. All I am going to say is: be excited for the 25th of May.
Now, I usually buy a poster at the end of a gig, but the night was so unforgettable that I decided to buy 2. Make your own mind up about how good The Hunna are. And, if your mind is made up correctly, you’ll be getting tickets to see them soon.