Type Slowly is the rarest of places: filled to the rafters with zines, poetry, art, t-shirts and records, it’s the inventive hive of Hull. Revolutions started in bedrooms now have an outlet – where musicians, artists and writers from the city and beyond – can share, support and discover each other’s work.
Creativity is seldom rewarded with profit, but Type Slowly is a place that gives people a chance to prosper from their work for more than just the love of it. As if that weren’t enough, Type Slowly has joined the milieu of Hull’s music venues, adding another idiosyncratic flavour to the already diverse spaces that play host to the thriving music scene. Music recorded only next door at Warren Records is brought live to the store, their EPs and albums stocked on the shelves: an almost unparalleled synergy anywhere else in the country.
Hull was graced by a dual performance from their own Modern Mood Swings and Scunthorpe three-piece, FINNO. They say it takes a village to raise a child – well, it took a declining industrial town and a community with a passion for music to raise FINNO. After forming a friendship from watching their local bands play in Scunthorpe’s Café INDIEpendent, the scene watched the college kids in the audience hone their craft and rise to the stage. FINNO are defined by their distinctions.
The female-led band, despite their youth, have a repertoire of exclusively original material which touches on a broad spectrum of themes that encapsulate not only what it is to be young – but more than that: what it is to be young, today. Their music is both timely, and timeless. FINNO have breezed past that phase of inertia that bands their age seem to have: the rigidity, eyes cast down, blistering through a set with no grasp on showmanship, is something they just don’t have time for. FINNO know what it is to not merely be musicians – but to be performers. See them once, see them a thousand times: you will never be bored.
Perhaps the most incredible thing about FINNO, what sets them apart from the indie-rock path littered with anointed lads with stadium-sized savior complexes, is the fact that every member is as pivotal as the other. There are no back-benchers here. In an arrhythmic blaze, Morgs stands, committing an assault of crashing cymbals; Will stands on the drums, head thrown back, screaming bloody murder; Marc dances, effortlessly cool with her gossamer vocals, locking her bass in with Will. Every member counts.
Their music is a perfect contradiction, encompassing euphony, with the coruscating ‘City Lights’, and outright discord with their knock-out closer ‘Life In The Great Divide’. No song better illustrates the capabilities of FINNO than ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’: tinged with melancholy, brooding with twinkling guitarwork and sombre drumming, it’s one of their most visceral tracks so far. Just when you’re comfortable, in the moment you take it for granted, the order spirals into a heavy crescendo of desperation, burning out in glory. FINNO take command of the quiet and the loud, the heavy and the soft – and they’ve barely started.
Following them up was Modern Mood Swings, with their sound and identity rooted firmly in Hull. Self-described as “the moussaka of emo bands”, their sound is a Jackson Pollack canvas of genres, with wanton smatterings of indie-rock, streaks of punk and splashes of grunge. There is an abrasive edge to Modern Mood Swings: guitars snag with their unpolished edge, drums clatter, and their vocals are raw and unedited.
In the vein of the DIY movement which the ethos of the band is so infused with, their music has that quality of being born in a bedroom; everything is honest and felt completely, because they love what they do. You can see that – they mean it. Drummer, Ashley Forrester, is a player in euphoria – perhaps the first drummer I’ve ever seen smile throughout his performance. Sporting one of the city’s artists, Jazz Harbord’s, caps with her design, vocalist Eddie showed astonishing versatility. One minute he is screaming with vitriol into the microphone, the next, in the verses, his voice has the haunting, gothic intonation that’s intrinsic to the greatest in their genre.
Their music is infectious despite its fuzzed-out dissonance. ‘Time Will Past’ is anchored down by catchy, grinding guitar sections, while ‘Forgotten Answers to Rhetorical Questions’ is commanding with its lyrics contending with the pitfalls of modern life. Modern Mood Swings and FINNO are linchpins of Hull’s underground scene: with that passion for playing – and playing well – they are musicians in the purest sense of the word. Do what they do. Take a chance, because you love it.
All photos by Jazz Harbord.