Review: The Heartbreaks

The Heartbreaks perform at Lancaster Library.
The Heartbreaks perform at Lancaster Library.

The Study Room is fast gaining a reputation as a leading live music venue on the Lancaster circuit. Latest to play the chic Church Street bar were Morecambe’s finest The Heartbreaks.

This was essentially a warm up for their upcoming UK tour, an acoustic gig and a rare chance for the lads to play locally. Having not performed together for a month or so, it was noticeable how much the band enjoyed being back together and having the opportunity to do what they do best. This irrepressible gang love each other’s company and have an undeniable chemistry.

Front man Matthew Whitehouse was in his element, and couldn’t stop beaming throughout the hour-long set. Meanwhile Joe Kondras revelled in the chance to step out from behind the drum kit and take centre stage on guitar alongside Ryan Wallace and ‘Deaks’.

The Study Room pulled a different audience alongside the usual Heartbreaks following of nattily-dressed mod romantics, and some in attendance – possibly drawn in by the cheap £5 admission price – hadn’t seen the band before. So it took a while for the atmosphere to warm up.

Once it did, a gig heavy with old favourites from the Funtimes album, mixed with a few from recent album We May Yet Stand A Chance and one little-heard tune Chain of Gloom, was greeted with typical singalong fervour, especially for the finale I Didn’t Think it Would Hurt to Think of You.

Other highlights were the immensely shoutable anthem Hey Hey Lover and the slow burning Man Overboard which Matt triumphantly announced had been requested by a fan on Twitter. Support came from human gig machine Joe McCorriston, whose impassioned vocals and clever songwriting never fail to impress. Mark McKenna was a dapper compere and DJ.