LIVE REVIEW // Howland @ The Hope and Ruin 09.12.15

"I can only play when I'm drunk, otherwise I get really nervous," says bassist Tim Beavis before the four-piece take to the stage of The Hope and Ruin. It's the first time they've played in Brighton, despite being based in the city, and expectations are high. 

Having previously tackled Scala in support of Foals and opening for Little Comets in Southampton, word is beginning to unravel about how incredible Howland's live show is and they certainly don't disappoint. 

Choosing to open their set with 'Waiting For You' the catchy track excites immediately, warming the crowd up nicely before the group, led by frontman Tyler Adams, dive straight into 'White Light'. 

The rising indie-rockers do justice to Peace with a cover of 'California Daze' adding their own signature twist to spice things up a notch, which goes down well with the crowd. The highlight of the gig is when stand-out track 'Bruises' is performed. Originally recorded in guitarist Lee's front room, this track is one that conjures up incredible riffing - a textbook banger from start to finish. The way the band connect with each other adds to their stage presence, with drummer Jake and bassist Tim exchanging smirks and laughing together throughout the set. 

Howland finish their performance with 'Callout' which Tyler informs the crowd is their upcoming track to be released next year, so keep an eye (and an ear) out for that. As they come off stage, the band are buzzing and guitarist Lee grins, coming to a sudden realisation and telling the rest of the band: "We're on tour!"

That's the thing about Howland, they're charming, which is a major part of their appeal. Tyler commented on their gig saying: "It was good to get our first Brighton gig with a band like Animal House, they just want to have fun with everything they do. It was our first Brighton gig of many to come, and it was a pleasure to play in The Hope and Ruin. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did, although the hangovers weren't a high point for us!" 

As well as the charm, they're remarkably humble and thank everyone who came down to see them, then they proceed to have a few drinks before the party is moved to The Green Door Store. At this point, Tim leaves the rest of his bandmates as he decides to turn to the art of stripping for one night and one night only (sorry ladies, you've missed your chance). 

Once there, the band mingle with The Wytches' drummer, which is one of the many factors as to what makes The Green Door Store great - you're always likely to bump into a musician of some sort. 

The night draws to a close somewhere around 5.30am and if there's one thing we've learnt from hanging out with Howland it's that frontman Tyler can sing and play guitar exceptionally well - but he just wants a Chicken Royale from Burger King. 

Check out our previous review of the band's track 'Bruises' here and if you like what you hear get yourself down to their next gig in Southampton where you'll find them supporting Bel Esprit and Fever; make sure to give them some love (and a Chicken Royale in Tyler's case). 

Words Lauren Wade

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