We saw Hallan in Shoreditch in February, and after no prior introduction to the band, we got excited.
A recording studio, bar, kitchen, venue. The Strongroom Bar is a venue with much character and even more history. The Strongroom Bar started as a small set of recording studios claiming host to names such as The Proclaimers and The Chemical Brothers.
The location grew into a bar, kitchen, and venue and has since hosted the likes of Nilüfer Yanya, JP Cooper, Skinny Lister, and now, Hallan.
From the moment they appeared in the downstairs room in which a few dozen of us were huddled, they carried a presence that inspired the expectation that there was something significant about to happen.
The third of four acts on the line-up that evening, the band stepped on stage (more of a raised platform, as you get in small independent venues such as this), and immediately a wall of beautiful, glorious noise was presented.
Hallan are a cog in a much larger machine at the moment, a machine producing a fascinating post-punk spectacle. With bands such as IDLES, Viagra Boys, and Yard Act appealing to new audiences, it’s clear there is a growing and welcoming space for a band like Hallan.
This isn’t to say Hallan are not unique however, an intense charisma that the band carries paired with a unique delivery of social-political lyric makes for a special experience.
Performatively, the band feels far more mature than is the case. An early outgrowth of their stage size is evidenced by the fact that lead singer Conor repeatedly knocked over his stage synth as a result of his active performance. Viva la Rock-and-roll I guess.
A particularly poignant moment in the set was when Conor hopped off the stage into the audience, bringing his electric charisma down with him, in that moment we were on his level, face-to-face, all a part of the performance.
Portsmouth-based glorious lyrical noise, do not miss out on the opportunity to catch Hallan, a band who no doubt we’ll be hearing about more and more.