Saturday, April 30, 2022

Fools, Thieves and Black Soul Ceremonies: The Hara Live At Manchester

We are all gathered here today to pay witness to THE HARA.  Dawned in all black, with makeup to match paired with high energy, sweat and a whole lot of mosh pits.

Is there any other way to describe The Hara and could you expect anything less from one of their shows? Just remember, you are about to witness ‘We All Wear Black’ and ‘tickets are non-refundable'.

On Thursday 28th April, The Hara played a show in their hometown of Manchester at Academy 3. The energy of course was a buzz throughout the evening, with high spirits of anticipation and a mixture of those in attendance. From older and former alt kids to newer members on the scene. It was clear throughout, even before The Hara made their grand entrance that this was a space where those who feel they don’t fit in could belong.

The two supporting performances did a good job of warming up the crowd, keeping them engaged for what seemed like a later starting time than usual. The first support PAVÉ, exclusive to the Manchester gig, had an alternative rock sound with a softer edge and was able to captivate the crowd from the moment they stepped onto the stage. It was clear there was chemistry as a band.

Whereas Jason Allan was a lot livelier and a true showman, full of theatrics and had the crowd jumping and singing along to his music. Jason Allan received an exhilarated reception. His vocals were excellent, he is one to watch out for. 

There was what felt like a long wait for The Hara to make their grand entrance and by this point, the crowd had multiplied, with loud chatter and singing along to the classic rock tracks being played. It was only a matter of time before the Manchester band took to the stage in an over the top, slow build-up, they knew how to play with the crowd. Toying with them and riling them up further, demanding their attention.  Josh Taylor, Jack Kennedy and Zack Breen were now on stage and the audience was going wild. 

Launching into ‘Black Soul Ceremony.’ The heavy drum beats and iconic guitar riffs really set the mood and any level of anticipation was kicked into overdrive and the crowd propelled themselves forward, letting loose and opening up the mosh pits almost instantly. People were throwing hands up into the air and shouting the lyrics back at the band. This energy was infectious and you couldn’t help but join in. This was the perfect opener for their set but it in no way was an insight to what the rest of the night had to offer.

The lads didn’t just play their songs, they performed them. Living in the moment, going from strength to strength, each track cranking up the enthusiasm, they really pushed the boundaries of where they could take their set. Performing iconic songs such as ‘The Circus, ‘Until It Happens’ and ‘We All Wear Black.’ 

As the night progressed, lead singer Josh Taylor, entered the crowd, climbing the stage, hanging from the ceiling and at one point was singing on top of the bar. It was refreshing to see and his liveliness kept the focus on him, encouraging the crowd to keep up with him. 

But it wasn’t just Josh Taylor who demanded attention, no. This concert definitely highlighted the talent of all members of the band. Zack Breen’s guitar skills, playing with ease and as though it was second nature to him. His solos were nothing short of awesome and paired with Jack Kennedy’s brilliant drumming, it was compelling to watch. 

There was an outfit change, Josh changed from his all-black suit, worthy of a ‘Black Soul Ceremony’ into what is now known to be his iconic makeup, skirt and nipple tape. And just when you thought it couldn’t get more dynamic, The Hara said ‘watch this’ and took it even further. 

‘Friends’ was a personal highlight, there was just something about hearing the band and the crowd singing the iconic ‘Da da da da I don’t think we should be friends.’ It was nothing short of awesome. Josh was crowd surfing, moshing with the audience, with Zack taking over on vocals. It was at this point you just didn’t want it to end. It was mind-blowing and probably one of the best live gigs to date. 

If there’s one main takeaway here, The Hara are three extremely talented lads whose love of music and what they do is infectious and if you see that they announce another tour or they’re at a festival, don't walk, run to their set. They are the ones to watch out for. If this set alone is anything to go by, then The Hara are truly onto something special. 

Ana Joy King
Image: Ana Joy King // The Hara Live

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