5 Reasons To Go See - The Hives
1 ‘Cos every girl crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man’ Sorry for starting with a ZZ Top quote, but it couldn’t be more apt for this impeccably attired Swedish five-piece garage rock behemoth. Every new record comes accompanied by a razor-sharp new look, and you suspect they spend as much time at their tailor’s as they do in the studio.
2 They have really stupid names Singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist actually has the least silly name of the band, which says a lot. Vigilante Carlstroem is in contention for the daftest, alongside Dr Matt Destruction. Nicholaus Arson could do better, frankly, and the less said about drummer Chris Dangerous’ tepid moniker the better.
3 They’re Your New Favourite Band Well, they might not be anymore, but that was the title of their breakthrough release in the UK in 2001, on Alan McGee’s Poptones label. Really just a repackaging of their first two albums, it was nevertheless a belter, and unleashed hit singles like ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ and ‘Main Offender’ on the world.
4 They’re the best Swedish musical export since . . . actually, Sweden has a great track record of quality music, from jazz to folk to electronica to fey indie pop. The Hives seem to be alone in kicking out the jams, though, a rollicking rock body blow within a more genteel music scene.
5 They’ve gone hip hop Of course, they haven’t, but they have recently collaborated with Timbaland, and their new album, imaginatively called The Black and White Album features a couple of songs recorded with Pharrell Williams. It still rocks, mind.
ABC, Glasgow, Sat 22 Nov.