LIVE: The Hunna / Judas / Airwaves @ KOKO, London

By Yasmin Brown

From the moment the first pit materialised during Airwaves’ opening set, it was clear the next few hours were going to be hectic. Whether the band is just particularly good at amping up a crowd, or the audience had arrived prepped and ready to rock remains uncertain, but the energy bouncing around the entire venue set the tone for what was to be a very fun, very sweaty evening.

Following second support, Judas’, equally energetic set, during which we experience more synchronised jumping, circle pits and general mayhem, The Hunna took to the stage. To say we were ready for them by this point is an understatement, and as the band transitioned from the intro into the first and title track on their newly released album, ‘Dare’, the crowd were quick to start throwing themselves against one another excitedly.

Despite the fact that the album this tour is supporting has been out for less than a week, as The Hunna made their way through it track by track, a chorus of 1,500 people screamed every word back at them. This band doesn’t invite casual fans, made even clearer by the fact that almost every member of the audience was sporting a piece of band merchandise.

‘Dare’ is a sad album, infiltrated with the occasional dose of anger, and every emotion is perfectly conveyed both on stage and through the band’s adoring fans. The softer songs such as ‘Babe, Can I Call?’ incite stunning singalongs which, with the use of the venue’s resident disco ball, created a beautifully melancholy vibe – perfectly suited to the song.

Other, more upbeat songs such as ‘NY to LA’ and ‘Flickin’ Your Hair’ incite endless jumping, fuelled by what can only be adrenaline in the moist, dehydrated sea of humans. It was the latter performance that saw an impressive extended outro, which the band took as an opportunity to truly showcase their extraordinary musical expertise for the first time.

Emotions ran high when The Hunna launched into ‘Mother’, a song written about the last moments of front man, Ryan Potter’s, mother’s life. As he sung the lyrics to us, perfectly hitting every sad note, you could almost feel hundreds of hearts breaking as we quietly sung along.

The atmosphere didn’t remain sombre for long though, as the band kicked off the final performance from ‘Dare’, ‘Y.D.W.I.W.M’, the heaviest, angriest track on the album – a vibe that resonated among everyone for the full five minutes. The crowd took over the bridge, loudly and aptly shouting, “We’re so loud, can’t turn us down” countless times before Potter joined in on vocals. The live performance only solidified how perfect a closing track it is, and left us wanting more.

After a short encore, the band returned to play their two most popular songs to date, ‘She’s Casual’ and ‘Bonfire’. The former is the highlight of the night, with the crowd singing the entire first verse and chorus without the accompaniment of Potter’s vocals, following which he can only say, “you gave me shivers, fuck, thank you”. In such a short time, it is evident that The Hunna have made their mark on the rock industry and moments like this are as touching for the people that love them as they are for the band.

Energy peaked during ‘Bonfire’, as from the front of the pit to the top balcony, every single attendee was off their feet, launching themselves into the air, at one with the music. The Hunna are humble and they are talented and today’s industry is lucky to have them in it.