LIVE REVIEW: The Herbs – Corner Hotel, 18th July
Image via The Herbs’ facebook page.
It’s Wednesday night, the Corner Hotel bandroom is so empty that half of it was curtained off, and there are tables and chairs set up around the perimeter. On stage, a DJ called Mr 95 is wearing a sequinned tuxedo jacket and tight pants with the American flag on them. He isn’t wearing a shirt, and the pants keep slipping down. A couple of drunk girls in high heels and miniskirts are living it up in the middle of the dancefloor, partying like it’s 90s night at Perseverance. What the hell am I doing here?
I’m here to see The Herbs, a novelty Spice Girls cover band. Consisting of Old Spice, Sugar & Spice, Cajun Spice and Paprika [also known as Mr 95], The Herbs take Spice Girls songs, deconstruct them and rework them into indie rock pieces. After supporting the Vengaboys throughout their national tour at the start of the year, The Herbs decided to play a couple of their own headline dates this month. Unfortunately this one didn’t sell very well.
Despite the small crowd1, however, the band started off well. Opening with “Spice Up Your Life”, they put a fresh spin on songs that we all thought we knew so well2. Technical difficulties plagued the rest of the set, however, putting a slight dampener on what was a very fun concept. They tried to make up for it – playing an impromptu cover of the Vengaboys’ “Boom Boom Boom Boom” – but eventually decided to end the night early, after only seven songs because [in their words] it sounded “pretty shit” without the bass. Even though they’re only a novelty act, it’s disappointing for a band to let technical difficulties interfere so much with the performance. Obviously something went wrong in between the soundcheck and the performance, and that’s a pity, but the show must go on.
“Spice Up Your Life”
“Two Become One”
“Say You’ll Be There”
“Boom Boom Boom Boom”
“Who Do You Think You Are?”
1 Sammy J was there, as well as one half of Anyone for Tennis?.
2 A particular highlight being the transformation of “Say You’ll Be There” into a ballad.
3 I actually had to leave during “Viva Forever”, so I don’t know if they ended up playing anything else. It didn’t seem likely that they would, which is why I rushed off to get the train.