Writer Laura Mills / Photographer Connor Pope
It’s my debut review at The Mill in Digbeth on 5 November. As I’m walking in, this smell hits me straight away. It’s familiar – it’s the smell of lager. Lovely stuff. Ahead of The Hunna, first up on stage to warm this Saturday night crowd is Lucy Deakin. She looks cool, calm and collected, and her voice is powerful with a soulful element.
Delving deeper into the set, her confidence increases, she’s got the entire crowd behind her and they’re all loving it.
I’m so here for this genre that’s been getting more of a spotlight over the past few years. I’m talking about this feminine pop-rock – women who don’t take any shit – the Olivia Rodrigo, Hayley Williams, Avril Lavigne kind of style. You know, the cool ones.
Lucy Deakin is definitely owning this stage tonight and she looks fierce. She launches into ‘Complicated’, a Lavigne cover, and the crowd, myself included, are singing our hearts out.
Each original track is introduced in a relatable way, explaining how she’s as confused about this world as we all are, and how she’s one of us. It’s kind of raw; you just want to be her mate.
Sadly, Lucy’s set comes to an end.
The crowd’s gathering for the second support of the night and I’m back facing the stage. It’s time for Kid Kapichi and they appear confident, and very up for tonight’s performance.
I have to talk about this guitarist with the curly hair in the grey. He’s strumming those strings so hard I’m surprised none of them have snapped. His body language is just ENERGY as he flings himself around the left side of the stage, the rest of the band enthusiastically putting in the work to keep up.
This band’s sound is right up my street; it’s tight, innovative indie rock.
“Who’s got work on Monday?” our frontman says. “This ones for you, it’s called ‘5 Days On (2 Days Off)’” – a track we can all resonate with about how monotonous life can sometimes seem.
Next, the frontman announces: “This next one is for Rishi Sunak, you fucking…” Something? I didn’t catch the last bit, and maybe that’s for the best.
The instruments are stripped back and it’s just the frontman singing their original track ‘Party at No.10’. I wonder what that’s about?
As this set comes to a close, my first thought is to follow both supports on Spotify. My second thought is please get The Hunna on – the lights lower, and we instantly know it’s time.
The Hunna grace the stage and launch into ‘The Storm’ before smoothly transitioning into ‘Trash’. Just before another track is played the frontman says: “Our new album is now out, and when we started this tour it wasn’t.
“We’d like to play you the album, if that’s okay, and then launch into some of The Hunna’s classics.”
I wish it didn’t, but this rings alarm bells for me. I think playing a whole album of songs people aren’t familiar with yet can accidentally dampen the mood in a serious way.
As I’m watching, this band is giving it everything they’ve got to a new track called ‘Fugazi’, it feels confident and as the band perform each member appears to have an air of swagger about them. However, as the set goes on I just can’t help thinking we could do with a few fan favourites in between.
Regardless, the crowd are wild, cheering, moving, they just can’t get enough of The Hunna.
Finally, the moment I’ve been waiting for, a track called ‘Apologies’, which is one of the band’s latest releases. As I look around, everyone is singing along with Ryan as he belts out:
“I, I didn’t mean to make you cry / And I do apologise / But you, you make me wanna die / I can hear you telling lies.”
Watching the band you can totally tell this is album number four because it feels confident, and there’s a strong rapport between them – evident in how they interact with each other. It’s wonderful to see. Likewise, the way they interact with the crowd is special too; they’re making everyone in this room, including myself, feel like we’re a part of The Hunna.
As we start to reach the end of the set, it’s time for fan favourites starting with the ever so carefully crafted lyrics of ‘Lover’, and then into one of my favourite songs ever, ‘Babe, Can I Call?’.
It’s clear as soon as the crowd recognise the next song it’s been highly anticipated all evening; ‘She’s Casual’ is performed with the crowd singing every single word alongside the band.
Tonight is The Hunna’s final date of this tour and their set ends with, arguably, their most popular track – ‘Bonfire’. Again, we’re all belting out each line and smashing into each other in the process.
What an evening, and what a great performance by one of the most classic indie-rock bands from the 2010’s.
For more on Lucy Deakin www.lucydeakin.com
For more on Kid Kapichi www.kidkapichi.com
For more on The Hunna www.thehunnaofficial.com
For more gigs and events at The Mill www.themilldigbeth.com