Harry Hula

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Live Review from Underground 61:
(*takes dictionary out*) In Hawaii he’s Harry Hula, in Spain he’s Harry Hola, in Heaven he’s Harry Halo, when he’s feeling friendly he’s Harry Hello and when he’s playing at being a big, green, shirt-tearing monster he’s Harry HE-LA…Grrrrrr!. He played an acoustic set of 7 folk rock-pop ‘secret songs from the bottom of the drawer’, a mix of snappy, half-poetic/ half-tongue-in-cheek bits of flotsam and jetsam from the inner recesses of his mind. Just some soul-baring observations and melodic thoughts delivered in a satirical but thoughtful way, best summed up by some of his own lyrics, ‘shifting sands and raging calm’. According to Harry these songs are too quiet for
Born to Hula to use, working beautifully performed in a simple, solo setting where the songs, guitar and voice blended together as in a gently intelligent, entertaining force. “We keep still if we hear something coming behind us’- very true. Silly that. He cites deceased folk romantic Nick Drake as an influence, together with still-living Radiohead, a blend of which fairly much describes his sound.
Club Cixi’s newly-revamped sound system was set for hip hop and dance DJs so the bass and volume levels were too pumped for an acoustic set. Even if you were listening out for every word, there wasn’t much you could decipher. The sound guys, 3 of them at one stage, were told by at least 5 people, with a few scowls from Harry-in-Hell thrown in, what needed to be done but it took them most of HH’s set to make the sound less fucked. Training, my little doves, get some TRAINING in sound mixing for various types of live alternative bands. Still, the new swirly floor and wall lights are pretty.
And he had a song about satellites. ‘You really are something to shout about….we became satellites’ We were saying later that lots of good bands have songs about satellites. The Plums (Caroline Kennedy-McCracken’s band) from Melbourne, Elvis Costello, Guster, Glaswegians Raising Kain and Dave Matthews Band to name a few. After this white-light flaming meteoric performance, we can add Harry Halogen to the many names of this versatile artist, who burns brightly with or without his band. Harry? Hallelujah! (*puts dictionary away*)
Isobel S. Saunders

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