The Guillemots @ Hard Rock Cafe, 19 May 2011

Becky Glass

It’s hard to charm a selfconscious crowd, let alone one the size of a modest birthday party. But the Guillemots cast a spell every time they appear live, and their performance for the Hard Rock Café’s 40th anniversary was no different.

This was no exceptional venue – it was a little too staged and sincere – but the band radiate talent, from frontman Fyfe Dangerfield, a vortex of charisma, to the button-clad Aristazabal Hawkes, the six-instrument-playing bassist; somehow they made it intense rather than awkward.

New songs earned impressed murmurs, and classics bristled with life like the first time they’d ever been played. A run of new and old tunes ended in a rip-roaring pop belter and a sultry, intense finale; the crowd, all prepared to play cynical spectators, were grinning from ear to ear.

From the primary-colour piping on Fyfe’s jacket to the in-jokes going back and forth on stage, the Guillemots are so fun because they are so into what they do. They very clearly, very passionately, believe in music. It’s a (surprisingly rare) quality, which seems to make everything fall, beautifully, into place.

Absolute Radio presents Guillemots Hard Rock 40th Anniversary session. Tune in to the Absolute Radio Geoff Lloyd Hometime Show on Wednesday 25th May from 7pm-8pm to listen to this special set and exclusive interview with the band. For more go to

Published by Francesca Baker

Passionate about music, the world, exploring, literature and smiling. Writing, marketing and events for all my favourite things.

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