WE REVIEW THE NEW SINGLE FROM NORTHERN HOSPITALITY – TO BE FREE
Northern Hospitality have a motto. ‘Completely unleashed with malicious intent’ reads the Hartlepool band’s twitter bio. It’s an eye-catcher, but also a slogan far more intemperate than the band’s debut single ‘To be Free’.
The beginnings of Northern Hospitality’s career as a recording band are marked by Oasis-worship. ‘To be Free’ even features Gallagher-esque nasal crooning. This approach is safe, albeit, while not necessarily being anodyne, lacking in novelty.
To their credit, Northern Hospitality are moderate. Unlike many of their contemporaries, they refrain from self-aggrandizing with flash and pomp. Even the guitar solo is tasteful. Put prosaically, it’s competent if unimaginative song craft.
But what about the lyrics? ‘I’ve never been one for politics’ is all the more interesting as an opening statement when followed 15-seconds later by the proclamation that democracy ‘doesn’t exist’.
That’s more like it! Unfortunately, it largely ends there. There’s talk of living in a free world, being uninhibited by tyranny and the like. These are heavy topics for a band’s debut single so it’s forgivable that they’re lacking in extensive depth.
It’s admirable nonetheless that Northern Hospitality take on these topics. Further praise should also be given to the song’s fluid pace, allowing the five-minute runtime to pass serenely.
Having recently opened for Pete Doherty, Northern Hospitality’s appeal, at least judging by this single, is evidently geared towards the sizeable subculture of post-indie-sleaziness. They do what they do well. We can but hope something more refined comes with time.