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86TVs

86TVs – The Joiners, Southampton

As soon as this tour was announced back in October of last year, the tickets were booked and in the bag! The six months flew by and here we were at the iconic The Joiners for a sold out capacity show of around 200 people – the best kind of shows in my opinion.

I first heard about 86TVs in late 2022 – their name deriving from an ‘I Am Kloot’ song of the same title. I’d arrived at Portsmouth Guildhall to cover Jamie T’s gig and saw the name on the running order for the evening. I always like to arrive early at gigs to see the support band, I’ve seen many over the years that have been absolute gold and that night was one of those. My friend turned to me and said you know who they are right? No idea?! Felix & Hugo White’s (ex-The Maccabees) new band along with their brother Will and Pop Morrison who drums with Stereophonics – boom, we’d hit the jackpot in my eyes! I was blown away that night and had been eagerly anticipating any shows that were to be announced. 

I was pleased to see that the support for this evening was singer / songwriter Lizzie Reid, who I’d seen only 12 months previous at the same venue supporting the majestic Hamish Hawk. It was lovely to hear Lizzie’s catalogue of songs again in a live environment with most accompanied by the back story to songs and their inspiration. If you’ve not heard Lizzie’s music then I would definitely add it to your playlists. 

One of the things that I love about The Joiners is that the bands have to walk through the crowd to get to the stage and tonight is obviously no different. As 86TVs wade through the crowd and congregate at the side of the stage, there is still this anticipation that grips the audience for the minute they climb the 3-4 steps on to the stage – the reception is almost like they had just appeared from behind a curtain at the side of the stage. 

I’d had a sneak peak of the setlist between the changeover and noticed that there were no The Maccabees tracks that were listed – for me, it was great to see as I’d been anticipating hearing some more of the original material I’d seen already in 2022. For some, this was disappointing, as I overheard around me. 

86TVs thus far had only released a four track EP, with three of the songs being put out as singles. The opening two tracks ‘Modern Life’ and ‘Days of Sun’ were ace. There’d been a song that I’d recorded on my phone the last time I’d seen 86TVs but had no idea what it was called, it transpires it’s ’Pipe Dream’ – much to my relief I can now catalogue this ear worm! 

Felix would be refraining from singing duties as in his own words ‘I’ve gone too hard’ on singing duties in the other dates on the tour. Felix had been put steroids to help his voice, they’d made him feel great but his voice was still broken! Will and Hugo would take on batten for the evening with some backing vocals from Pop. 

There was a lot of chat between the band and the audience between tracks with Will thanking everyone for coming out tonight and buying a ticket. ‘It means a lot to us the support we’ve received on this tour especially as you guys haven’t heard some of these tunes before. At times it felt the crowd behind me were subdued, I’m not sure if this was picked up on by Will as he said towards the end of the set ‘we have a few to end on that you may know’ before playing ‘Higher Love’ and ‘Worn Out Buildings’. 

The show was over within 45 minutes but the musicianship was second to none from the guys, as you would expect. There is just something majestic about seeing great musicians up close and personal in small venues. I’m counting down the days to the debut album announcement (yes, Hugo did confirm that it has been written and recorded!)

Photo Credit (above and main) – Russ Leggatt
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