Photo of Hipflask Virgins live at Paradiddles

Hipflask Virgins  & Ruben Seabright live at Paradiddles, Worcester – 18th July 2020

Its been almost four months since Worcester’s music venues were forced to close their doors in the midst of the pandemic and for any music lover, those four months have felt like an eternity. So it was no surprise that when local riff-rock two-piece Hipflask Virgins announced Worcester’s first chance to listen to live music, the show had sold out within forty-eight hours.

Finally seeing the slow return of live music in the cities bars and venues is a welcome treat and stepping through the doors of Paradiddles for the first time since March is like coming home after being at university, you’re instantly greeted with a welcoming smile and an outpouring of love, and not to mention just how clean everything is. Rachel, Kit, and the rest of the team at Paradiddles have worked hard to make their outside area gig friendly under the new guidelines, adding heaters, new socially distanced benches, and more making it the perfect environment for a night of live music under the stars.

Specialty IPA in hand, it feels good to see familiar faces take their seats as Worcester’s first post-lockdown show begins. For those who have seen the nights first act, Ruben Seabright will know this is the perfect setting for his raw stripped back set featuring a host of acoustic covers, including Rooster by Alice in Chains, Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin and a mash-up of Duality and Jolene by Slipknot and Dolly Parton. A combination that off the bat seems like a crazy mix but somehow works surprisingly well together, just proving that Ruben not only has the confidence to pull off covers like this but the talent to back that up.

As the sun sets the familiar buzz of the distortion pedal fills the air as the moment bandmates Jay and Will have been waiting for finally arrives. They’ve spent most of the lockdown hiding away in their studio, preparing to release their long-awaited first EP ‘Isolation Shitbox’. Their excitement to be playing live again radiates through the audience. Kicking things off with one of the band’s most well-known tracks Thumbs Up, the duo runs headfirst into their set starting things off with a bang. Making the most of the evening, playing a mix of old and new songs like Line of Fire and Pizza Express, two new tracks which will feature on the band’s upcoming EP, as well as songs Go Easy and Dutch Courage which show off the band’s diversity, straying slightly from their usual sound, incorporating more pop elements to the track while showcasing the hard work they’ve put into perfecting their set during lockdown.

The return of live music to our cities venues may be a slow and bumpy ride, but with the promise of smaller shows in outdoor settings, you can guarantee a more intimate feel to your live music experience, even if you’re sat two meters apart from everyone.

By: Lottie Burgess

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