Dropout UK @ Hurts Album Launch Party, Royal Institute Of British Architecture
Duo Celebrate Release Of Debut Album
As self-deprecating as lead singer Theo Hutchcraft seemed during his performance, you can’t help but feel there is an underlying ambition that propels the Manchester synthpop duo. Celebrating the imminent release of their debut album, ‘Happiness’, Hurts held a launch party at the grandiose, and tonight, rather opulent Royal Institute of British Architecture.
Apologetic of the affected surroundings, Hutchcraft mocked the venue’s installation (accompanying a piano player sat an elderly woman who sobbed next to, what one was to assume, was a portrait of her younger self), and the general formality of the occasion. But then, since their mainstream emergence in 2009 (they were the Guardian’s ‘Band of the Day’ in July of 2009), they have seemed rather austere – tonight they were backed by a stern, expressionless opera singer.
Open to the media and HMV competition winners, the assorted guests were at first treated to free drinks and canap?s, before being ushered into the central room where Hurts were to perform. Befitting of their 80s-infused sound, Hurts’ most recognisable attendant was Boy George. Donning a dashing, glittery and very green hat, the Culture Club singer seemed affable as he conversed with fans and fellow guests, and was complimentary of the band.
The performance itself included Hurts members Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson, the aforementioned imposing backing vocalist, a drummer and a keyboardist. Teutonic is an adjective that has been widely used to describe the image of the Manchester duo, and tonight their appearance was very much in keeping with the promotional images used for their singles and album. With the pair sporting matching carefully shortly cropped hair and pristine shirts, they emerged onstage to a warm reception.
As they began to introduce their album’s material, the crowd became more involved. Their set was seven tracks long, beginning with ‘Silver Lining’ and concluded by first single ‘Better Than Love’. In between these songs was their biggest hit to date ‘Wonderful Life’, but conspicuously absent was ‘Devotion’, which is rumoured to feature Kylie Minogue.
The set was perfectly performed, but most notable was Hutchcraft’s turn. Witnessing the band live for the first time, it was striking how impressive his vocal range is. Polite and appreciative of the crowd’s applause throughout, Hurts left the stage and will hope that their accomplished live performances can translate to album success.
Check out the brief video of the launch below