Albert Hammond Jr

Albert Hammond Jr


Albert Hammond Jr. – Seemingly the happiest man in music today. The question is, who can blame him? Having kicked the drug habit, the latter months of 2013 saw him marry the gorgeous Justyna Sroka, as well as put out his third release as a solo artist – the superb five track EP ‘AHJ’.

As he arrives on stage at Gorilla, that smile is there (along with, quite frankly, one of the best jackets I’ve ever seen – A red Drive-esque jacket with the snarling dog artwork from his latest EP stitched onto the back) and it’s hard not to smile along with him. Fair play to him, he’s always surrounded himself with dudes who look hella cool. Not content with being in The Strokes; he’s backed up tonight by a really cool bunch of dudes, and as a band they seem really tight – Both as a band, and as pals.

The infectious smile carries through to Albert’s tunes, and every one is a banger. One song in particular pretty much had my mouth agape in wonderment for its entire duration. ‘101’ is the tune and it’s just brilliant. A romantic little ditty taken from ‘Yours To Keep’, his debut album as a solo artist – it’s a fantastic pop song. Tracks from the new EP are dotted throughout the set, and it’s a pleasure to hear them. He toured the record when it was released but it passed me by. I’ve been listening to it ever since, so I’ve got a big grin on my face when I hear them, especially ‘St Justice’.

Toward the end of the set, his backing band break away and hang out at the back of the stage, whilst Albert steps up to the microphone and pours his heart out on ‘Blue Skies.’ My mate thinks it’s hilarious that the band have to stand about and watch on, but I think it’s a really cool moment. It takes a break from the happy atmosphere, and really shows that Albert’s got a cracking voice. It’s – dare I say it – a beautiful moment…

My favourite part of the show turns out to be the closer, and it’s a real doozy. I would never have expected the band to break into ‘Last Caress’ by Misfits, but that’s exactly what they did. This was the third cover of the night, having blasted through a thrashy cover of the Buzzcocks favourite ‘Ever Fallen In Love’ earlier in the night, alongside ‘One Way Trigger’, taken from his other band’s last album. It’s the icing on an already delicious cake, and the perfect closer to a fun, poppy set.

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Andy Hughes

Hi, I'm Andy.I'm the man behind Birthday Cake for Breakfast, a site featuring music news, reviews and interviews.Big believer in Birthday Cake, Pizza, math rock and beer (preferably all in one sitting.) I spend my mornings daydreaming about gigs and my evenings going to gigs. Lunch times are spent walking about town listening to Tom Waits.'Id rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy'