The story surrounding Leeds band Hookworms third album Microshift isn’t uplifting just because it became a surprise top 20 hit amongst a stagnant chart full of still-Christmas rump and AOR dross. It’s was also a genuinely heartwarming tale of triumph over adversity, of embracing fate rather than being its victim.
On Boxing Day 2015 the quintet’s highly reticent leader MJ returned from visiting his parents house to find their studio/workspace in the city’s Kirkstall area flooded and thousands of pounds worth of equipment ruined by rising water; to add to the drama his own car was washed away in the aftermath and then looted.
Such a blow would’ve caused many professional musicians to question why they should persevere against a backdrop of the industry’s smaller cake being divided ever less fairly amongst the few, but thanks to crowdfunding and gifts of equipment the facility was ultimately restored, an outcome which has injected Microshift with a sense of sublime energy and pent up release which makes it by far their best work to date.
Trailed last year by the freewheeling Negative Space, it’s an album which sees the band meeting things more head on than ever before, whether it be the shock and depression of acts of god, the relentless expectations of shallow conformity heaped on young men or the destructive end of failing relationships. Now it’s release is due to be appropriately showcased by two nights at the iconic Brudenell Social Club, accompanied by a roster of associated acts. Reinvigorated and now at a career peak, Hookworms are now becoming one of British music’s essential performers.
You can read a review of Microshift here.
Hookworms play The Brudenell Social club on Friday March 2nd and Saturday March 3rd.