Big Riffs Abound At Hare & Hounds With Sappho, Spits Milk and Knife Crime 03.09.22

Writer and photographer Emily Doyle

This summer, Camberwell noise-rockers Part Chimp announced their autumn 2022 tour, kicking off at the good old Hare & Hounds. Sappho and Spits Milk were announced as support.

A few weeks later, Part Chimp drummer Jon Hamilton broke his arm. The show had to be rescheduled to December, but the other acts knew better than to let a Saturday night slot at the Hare go to waste.

Mutes were due to play but also suffered an injury, so Brum punks Knife Crime opened the show. Treading the line between pop-punk and post-hardcore, the three piece gurn their way through a set, infectiously happy to be there.

Drummer John Maycroft is a powerhouse in Hawaiian shorts, setting a breakneck pace for fuzzed-up bass and breakneck shredding from Sam Bicknell and Geordie Blake respectively.

Spits Milk seem to have exploded onto the local live circuit this summer. The downtuned supergroup brought their scuzzy post-punk to Kaleidoscope last month and followed it up with a back garden gig somewhere in Cotteridge which allegedly involved as much spitting as their name suggests.

Thankfully their set tonight is marginally more Covid-safe.

Vocalist Tom Whitfield is captivating, perpetually roaming in and out of the crowd, coquettishly perching on the monitors, wandering out into the stairwell and playing peekaboo behind the blackout cloth.

His arresting vocals drown in the pummeling riffs, but they’re delivered with such vitriol it feels safe to assume the lyrics aren’t very nice.

That said, let’s all assume the song they introduced as ‘Supersonic Kids’ is a wholly good-natured jibe at Birmingham’s best-loved experimental music festival, eh?

Sludgy five-piece Sappho top the bill tonight, bringing a host of experience from the members collected via other projects: ​​Bee Stung Lips, Deadsunrising, Twist, Sally, Einstellung, Katastrophy Wife, Lash Frenzy, Super Yoko Space Cult… you could say they have some pedigree.

Stacks of green Matamps and orange Orange amps either side of the stage should give seasoned doom heads an idea of what to expect, but for the uninitiated – it’s about to get heavy. Rallying vocals lend the twin attack of stoner riffs, a melodic, grunge-y quality, with plenty of sonic heft for the crowd to chew on.

Sure, Part Chimp are going to be great when they come to the Hare on 6 December, but Birmingham’s heavy heritage means we can more than hold our own.

For more on Sappho visit
For more on Spits Milk visit
For more on Knife Crime visit

For more gigs and events at the Hare & Hounds visit