Gig review: The Hives, ABC, Glasgow

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APART from the finer sartorial details of their matching monochrome outfits, nothing really changes in The Hives’ meticulously conceived yet reassuringly primitive garage rock universe – like The Ramones, AC/DC or The Fall, they just find fresh impetus within their own tight framework.

The Hives

ABC, Glasgow

Star rating: * * * *

This season the Swedish quintet are mostly rocking the Victorian gentleman look with white tie and top hats, which were soon discarded as they embarked on their self-styled 20-step programme to lay waste to Glasgow with an opening number which was nothing more than a punk rock cheer to Come On! but packed more intent than many groups can muster over a full set.

The entire band attacked the performance hammer and tongs, but none as relentlessly as frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, channelling the preening energy of Mick Jagger and the hectoring enthusiasm of the fairground barker who urges you to scream if you want to go faster.

It was best just to collude, as The Hives only do fast and faster anyway. Their set was a seamless sprint to the finish line, taking in the teflon-coated Stonesy strut of Idiot Walk, heavy glam rock of I Want More and all-out garage carnage of Hate To Say I Told You So. Occasionally the players came up for air while Almqvist obliged with some stream-of-consciousness drollery about our shared Viking spirit. With Glasgow on its knees, or at least crouching down at his behest, it was time to land the killer blow of Tick Tick Boom.