Hadouken! On fast track to fame

EMMA LEE Dig out your day-glo sportswear and get ready to dance – “grindie” band Hadouken! are heading for Norwich. EMMA LEE spoke to the band’s frontman, James.


Bored of the same old identikit indie bands? Feeling unexcited about a collection of young men with complicated haircuts releasing an album featuring spiky guitars over a disco beat? Are you thinking that the Doherty grey pallor/trilby/skinny tie look is so last season (dahling)? Then you should try new Hadouken!.

Guaranteed to get your feet moving, your eardrums tingling and your mum banging on your bedroom door to get you to “turn that infernal racket down or you're grounded” they're heading for a venue near you.

Put it this way, if Hadouken! was a colour it would definitely be fluorescent pink.

The band, from Leeds, had been on the music scene for approximately a nanosecond before the critics started frothing at the mouth with excitement.

Looking for a handy pigeonhole to put them in coined a whole new genre - “grindie” (that's a mixture of grime and indie) - in their honour.

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The NME said the represented a “bold musical evolution”, with The Fly predicting they'll be “huge…astounding…phenomenal” and the Guardian describes their noise as “ace”.

I must confess that when I first heard Hadouken! my ears begged for mercy. But give them a couple of listens, preferably in your local indie disco after a couple of cups of wonky juice or at one of their now-legendary live shows, and it all starts to make sense.

A cocktail of scuzzy electronic beats, metal guitars, computer game bleeps and razor-sharp lyrics satirising indie scenesters, Hadouken!'s music is an intoxicating mix - more than 50,000 MySpace friends can't be wrong.

Given the amount of press they've already had and the size their fanbase has swelled to it's hard to believe that they've only existed for a year (their first gig was in the slightly un-rock and roll location of Southend). They haven't even released their debut album yet, but they're putting out a USB-only mix tape of exclusive tracks and remixes by the likes of Bloc Party.

Biographical details are sketchy, but the band's line-up consists of vocalist James, keyboard player Alice, guitarist Pilau, bassist Chris and drummer Nick.

The seven-inch That Boy, That Girl (which lampoons the trendy “indie Sindys” in their polka dot dresses), released earlier this year was championed by Radio 1 and the new single Leap of Faith suggests that they're still honing their sound.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the name comes from the combat video game Streetfighter - the Hadouken is a special fire-ball throwing move.

Frontman James speaks about as quickly in “real life” as he raps on record, so it's even a job for someone with a 100-wpm shorthand certificate to keep up with him.

He says that he's getting a buzz from the rollercoaster ride - and the fact that fans hopped on board from the off.

“It has been fast. The press is always on the lookout for the next big thing. You just have to enjoy it while it's you,” he says.

“I had been writing and producing and wanted to get a band together - one that wasn't boring. Our first gig was a bit of a weird one. We played purely off adrenaline. It was in Southend and from the word go there were people singing along to some of the songs,” he says.

James says he feels they're ready to step up a level and is looking forward to playing bigger venues like the 1,500-capacity UEA.

“We're going to step up a gear. Our fans really go for it, dress up. And we feed off that,” he says.

t The USB mix tape - Not Here to Please You is out on November 12. Their debut album is slated for release early next year.

t Hadouken! play the UEA, Norwich, on Wednesday. 01603 508050. (£10adv) from UEA, Union, Waterfront and Soundclash.

Online at www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

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