Review: The Howl & The Hum, The Crescent, York, April 5

THE hum is slowly but surely turning into a howl.

The Crescent was full; new black and white T-shirts were out in force; the York four-piece had just returned from the talent spotter's paradise of the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and the first new single in ten months is out soon. Hall Of Fame beckons, and so surely does "fame" as the word spreads that elegant, haunting guitar rock has a new champion.

The Howl & The Hum won the Outstanding Live Performance prize at the 2018 York Culture Awards for their Fulford Arms gig early in the year, if that was "Outstanding", then elegiac singer Sam Griffiths, lead guitarist Conor Hirons, bassist Bradley Blackwell and drummer Jack Williams surpassed it here, airing two new songs, In Walked The Wolf and Human Contact, that affirmed their spiralling sonic growth.

They are in no hurry to release their debut album – "some time next year," says Sam – but they are benefiting from being given time to develop, to add to a cast list of stand-outs led by Manea, I Wish I Was A Shark, Sweet Fading Silver and the set-closing Godmanchester Chinese Bridge, already a York anthem.

Griffiths and co picked arresting support acts too: first beguiling Fawn singer-songwriter Ilana Zsigmond, then Hytts, an euphoric Glasgow synth duo of Sam and Adam that hit the heights with Hold The Bridges, a cover of Shania Twain's You're Still The One and a toucan T-shirt. Move over Jimmy Somerville.

Charles Hutchinson