Below is a video of The Hives full set at Reading. The band had boundless supplies of energy and excitement, sometimes running right up to the crowd, creating an incredible buzz throughout the NME/Radio 1 tent. Dressed in distinct black tuxes and top hats, not only did their outfits (and their Swedish accents) stand out, as did their ability to get a crowd going within a second.
The best performance was ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ – the crowd was most familiar with this track and it bounced off all of us.
Coming back to the present and abandoning my post-Reading blues, I researched their newest album, ‘Lex Hives’, released in June this year. It seems that, 11 years after their album ‘Your New Favourite Band’ (2001) reached number 7 in the UK album charts, The Hives have still got that distinct garage/punk-rock vibe, sounding the same as it did a decade ago – they have not changed with time, but this vintage sound is what I particularly like about The Hives. They simply don’t sound the same as anyone else around at the moment.
Although their newest album is genuinely filled with some really decent songs, my favourite tracks from this album are ‘Go Right Ahead’ which, although bordering on being repetitive, it has the same energy of their most famous track, ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’. Next is ‘These Spectacles Reveal The Nostalgics’, which embodies what The Hives are good at: getting you want to jump off your feet. Finally, check out ‘Midnight Shifter’: this one is ridiculously retro and a good old fashioned foot-tapper.
But don’t just let the music do the talking, go and see them live. Prepare for crazy stage antics (how does he lift his leg that high?!), a lot of moshing and a bloody good night.