The Hives

EMMA LEE UEA LCR, Norwich

EMMA LEE

> UEA LCR, Norwich

Sweden has given the world a lot to be thankful for, Ikea and Abba among them.

And judging by their performance at UEA's LCR last night the Hives should definitely be added to that list.


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The long-sold-out show got off to a suitably loud start thanks to the D4 who raided the 70s archives for their inspiration.

Next up was the Blues Explosion, who created exactly what their name promised – scuzzy guitars mixed with enigmatic front man Jon Spencer's Elvis-style yelps and yodels, punctuated with cries of 'Blues Explosion'. By the end of the set the audience was clapping in unison and Spencer was dripping with sweat.

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The Hives' entrance on stage, heralded by a flash of white light, screaming guitars and broken English, sent the audience into a frenzy.

Sporting their regulation black and white dress code, what followed was an energetic romp through their back catalogue with stuntman Howlin Pelle Almqvist living up to his name and pulling Jaggeresque poses.

He quickly built up a rapport with the audience and soon they were obeying his every command.

As the tribal drum beat of Walk Idiot Walk struck up, he said: “If you can hear the drums why aren't you clapping along?” The crowd duly obliged.

They delivered the set – which sounded retro, yet fresh and rock yet pop – and lived up to the hype of being one of the best live acts around.

Highlights included Main Ascender and Hate To Tell I Told You So.

Howlin Pelle knew he was preaching to the converted.

“I can see you turning into fans,” he said.

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