sorted magazine - issue 2

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Hada to Hada - Pike (VELO)

Hada to Hada, once described as "Dublin's best kept secret" have changed. They haven't fallen foul of the old second-album-syndrome trap or anything like that, but have consolidated their position as one of Ireland's best (yet under-rated and unheard of) bands. They're one of those groups who you would dearly like to see hit the big time, but know never will.

"Pike" is an accomplished album. It's a jazzy easy to listen to album, but full of different styles. "Too Good for Words" and "Gun Metal Grey" are low-key affairs full of emotion, and lead-singer Kieran Duddy's voice is deep and resonant.

"Niagara" is Midnight Cowboyesque - about small people in a big world: it's funny yet sad, and lyrically astonishing.

"My Cheating Lover" and "Oceanographer" are the highlights of the album. The former is a desperate plea for answers in the game of forlorn love, and balances the jazz and soul elements of the band's music perfectly. Oceanographer is a minor classic - a song for the twentieth century. It's well-informed and meaningful in the way that a band like Jamiroquai aren't. When Duddy sings - "As to why they weren't informed of the cadmium emissions or lead induced still-born ... or the North Alaskan shore-line when Exxon Valdes split in two" - you can't help but sit up and listen.

Duddy's voice is extraordinary, as are the various saxophones and double bass that lend an air of unfamiliarity to the music. But you know in your heart and soul that bands like this will never be Oasis, and you can hear it in Duddy's voice - the pain of knowing that he'll always be more of a poet than a successful musician.

by Kenneth Foxe