86TVs are on their first national tour promoting their debut EP ‘You Don’t Have to be Yourself Right Now’. supported by the fantastic Lizzie Reid. The band are made up of the 3 White brothers; Hugo, Felix (ex The Maccabees guitarists) and Will on bass alongside Jamie Morrison of The Stereophonics and The Noisettes on drums.

Down the front of the sold out Joiners show, I overheard conversations from gentlemen saying they haven’t been to the venue since they were teenagers and hoping that the band were going to play some Maccabees tunes. The quartet didn’t play any Maccabees songs (understandably as this is a new chapter) but they did produce a joyous performance featuring ten tracks including the songs on the EP. 

Sadly Felix had lost his voice*, and croaked his way through an apology. Hugo seemed more nervous about having to take over his audience banter than his brother being unable to sing. The band noted that we haven’t heard most of their songs yet as the album isn’t out until later in the year, but they promised we will enjoy ourselves and they weren’t wrong as new songs such as ‘Modern Life’, ‘Million Things’ and ‘New Used Cars’ were bonded with energy, catchy choruses and a harder edge than their previous band, at times similar to The Libertines. The group would swap vocals throughout, though Felix had to skip his lead vocal (replaced with a brilliant drum solo by Jamie) and ask Will to take the lead on ‘Higher Love’. They finished with their previous single (and one of my favourite tunes of 2023) ‘Worn Out Buildings’. Everyone could sing along and Hugo was beaming with delight at seeing the audience bouncing around.

It’s probably too early to put a finger on the band’s sound as with three different vocalists and many styles these songs will need to sit with me for a while before I can discover who the 86TVs identity really is, but at the moment it’s a very accomplished indie band and I will probably not see them in a venue this small again. Let’s hope the gentlemen who hadn’t been here since they were teens will not wait as long to come back to The Joiners, it’s one of the country’s finest venues. 

A short and sweet brilliant debut set. 

Follow the band on social media @86TVsband

*86TVs cancelled their final tour date in Brighton due to Felix’s voice.