H&H Top 10 Gigs of 2018

H&H Top 10 shows of the year: Part 1. Gigs


It’s been another year of incredible live music here at Hare & Hounds – one of our busiest yet! We saw over 300 bands come through across both venues, from old friends like UB40 to exciting newer acts like Alfa Mist. We’ve listened to every one of your suggestions and have done the impossible task of whittling it down to our top 10 unforgettable live shows. Here they are, in no particular order..

  • UB40 – hands down one of our favourite shows of 2018. UB40 are a special band at the Hare (you’ve probably seen the plaque!) – they played their first ever gig here in 1979. Nearly 40 years later, they returned this October for a secret show, and we struggled to keep it under wraps with excitement. Filling the 250-cap room with friends and family, the band celebrated their incredible career with a set full of hits as well as some amazing new material.

UB40 – Photo by Graham Young



  • All Years Leaving – This Is Tmrw brought another bunch of incredible live shows to the Hare this year, but as always, All Years Leaving was a highlight for the venue. Over two days in October, it used the Main Room and gave the Stables downstairs it’s once-a-year outing too. We saw the likes of Goat Girl, The Orielles, Dream Wife, Snail Mail, Menace Beach, and it was local favourites The Hungry Ghosts’ last ever gig. AYL always highlights the best indie talents out there, and leaves everyone raving about it for weeks.

The Orielles at All Years Leaving Festival – photo by Sam Wood



  • Black Peaks – Alt-rockers Black Peaks are firm live favourites for many, so we were delighted when they came here on their Autumn tour. Playing both of their albums, the sold-out crowd were dedicated to every moment of an unmissable set. They didn’t disappoint, filling our intimate 250-cap venue with a sound that seems ready for stadiums.

Black Peaks – photo by Lee Allen



  • Arkells – Across the pond they’re an arena band, and following this tour it might not be too long until they are here too. Arkells blew us away with their polished set, following heavy punk tracks with beautiful acoustic moments, their touring experience made for a faultless set with anthemic tunes.

Arkells – photo by Matt Swallow



  • Ezra Collective – Leftfoot and Jazzlines THSH brought this hotly tipped London jazz collective to us in November, and we couldn’t have been happier about it. The five incredibly talented musicians managed to bring their live set fit for a festival rave into the sold-out main room. Special kudos to drummer Femi Koleoso for coming straight off a plane from touring with Jorja Smith in L.A. onto the stage at the Hare. Big things lined up for this energetic bunch.

Ezra Collective – photo by Ellie Koepke 



  • Black Mekon and King Brothers – Killer Wave booked some great shows here in 2018, but these two bands on the same bill were an absolute highlight. The soundcheck alone left us gobsmacked, and later on they rammed out V2 and let carnage break loose – at one point the drummer from King Brothers was playing in the middle of the room. An unexpected gem of a gig.

King Brothers – photo by Paul Reynolds



  • Shame – this young London punk band have had a phenomenal year, starting with a Spring tour that brought them past the Hare & Hounds in April. With an unmatchable energy, they stormed through their debut album ‘Songs of Praise’ in a blur of shirtlessness, sweat and moshpits. One of the most exciting live bands in the UK, and we’re glad to have seen them sell out here before their speedy ascent into bigger venues.

Shame – photo by Jonathan Morgan



  • Sunflower Bean – these kooky and wonderful New Yorkers joined us in March this year for their second-album tour. They brought their classic influences like Stevie Nicks and Dylan into their performance as well as their tunes, and always leave fans sweaty and chanting their catchy hooks for days.

Sunflower Bean – photo by Jonathan Morgan



  • Elder Island – they may be from Bristol, but some of the members of Elder Island grew up just around the corner from us in Kings Heath. After smashing their set in V2 last year, they returned to take over the main room this November – and sold it out too. The indie-pop trio bring the sounds of the 80s into 2018 effortlessly and left us all in a hazey trance, having danced our limbs off to their bangers.

Elder Island – photo by Ellie Koepke



  • Children of Zeus – a great duo from Manchester that have taken 2018 by storm. They sold out the main room and did not disappoint, with hip hop samples, soulful live vocals and an energy that blew us away.

    Children of Zeus



There have been so many more incredible gigs here and we’d love to rave about each and every one of them but we’d be here until December 2019. Thanks to everyone who came to a show and supported the wonderful bands and artists we’ve had through our doors. Bring on another year of it!

Stay tuned for our top 10 club shows too…


– H&H