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Review: The Hunna at O2 Academy Brixton

Caitlin Casey

Caitlin Casey is the Sports Website Editor and has been a part of the Women’s Lacrosse team since her first year. Caitlin enjoys writing about Team Kent as well as entertainment and investigative articles.

The Hunna is a pop-rock foursome that lingers in the hit indie playlists on Spotify and plays at festivals like Reading & Leeds. They headlined their own tour around the UK in December and January to play their album ‘The 100’ alongside other singles. I was lucky enough to catch the closing show at sold-out O2 Brixton, a venue where lead singer Ryan Potter confessed on stage that he and guitarist Dan were “watching our favourite band years ago right here. We told each other in that moment that we’d be on this f**cking stage one day”. If you haven’t heard the album, you’ve probably heard ‘She’s Casual’ or ‘Bonfire’, which self-assuredly helped them ‘blow up like a bonfire’.

The band chose not to open with one of their more popular songs though, and instead started with a recent song ‘Summer’, leaving some less avid fans like me lost. Rather than raising the energy with a well-known hit, they strolled on, blasting a long intro with guitar riffs and heavy drums and played something only half of the crowd knew. The crowd harmonized when they began to sing more popular songs, but it wasn’t until the stage effects hit on the third or fourth song that the concert fell like it was building into full swing.

In fact, the set and stage lights carried the show more than the band did. With no screens but three rows of bright laser beams that criss-crossed over the stage, changing colour with the tones of the song, I was fascinated by the lights. A simple but effective way to change the mood, the lighting production started in ‘Piece by Piece’, creating horizontal lasers across the stage and criss-crossing them to the mellow chorus.

The tour seems muddled, conflicting the debut album with an array of new singles just released. They dedicated time to ‘Flickin’ Your Hair’, taught us the lyrics to their newest ‘You Don’t Wanna’ and even dramatically walked on to introduce ‘Dare’ with white jackets with a red letter on the back that spelt out the word the name of the song. It was hard to work out whether they were celebrating their old album or making a very early promotion for a new album. Even with a baffling set list, the atmosphere of the crowd pushed the concert up to the barriers, a rough battle with hundreds of fans trying to make their way to the front. One thing that caught my eye was the lead, Ryan, who laid himself out on the stage like a pack of cards. Overpowering his bandmates, they stood in his shadow as he ripped out his emotions, swearing and running around the stage driven with adrenaline. He even walked off after the encore, wiping tears from his face. It was hard not to believe his performance.

If there’s one thing to note about this band, it’s the energy they put into their music. With multiple sold-out shows and a big social following, the band are up-and-coming and they cannot stop themselves from producing music. The music was good, the stage was better, but the evidence is in their fans. They’re a band that believe in themselves and they make that clear in their performances.

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