Leeds band Hookworms call out 'loutish, touchy-feely, drunk men' for harassing women at their gigs

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A Leeds band have slammed 'drunk middle-aged men' who have been sexually harassing female fans.

Hookworms, who regularly play venues including the Brudenell Social Club, posted an impassioned condemnation of the 'louts' on their official Twitter page.

The band have been contacted by women who felt harassed and intimidated by men in the audience.

The statement reads:

"Hey, just want to say that we've now had several bits of feedback from various female members of our audience who were at our shows over the last week saying they were made to feel incredibly uncomfortable by loutish, touchy-feely, drunk, middle aged men during our performances.

"That kind of behaviour will NOT be tolerated at our shows, and you are not welcome in the same venue as us. It's becoming increasingly hard to monitor and control our audiences so we want as much help from everyone as possible in calling out these p*****.

"I'm sure you can appreciate it's really hard for us to see or hear what is happening in the audience whilst we're playing with all the projections etc, so we're relying on people letting us know what is going on. We will support you wholeheartedly if you speak to us.

"Not 100 per cent sure how to deal with this moving forward, but it's something we're taking very seriously and any suggestions would be much appreciated. Our shows need to be safe, inclusive spaces where everyone feels comfortable and there's going to be no tolerance for this s***."

Hookworms, who have recently released their new album Microshift, have origins in Leeds and Halifax. The five band members are Jonathan Nash, Matthew Johnson, Matthew Benn, Sam Shipstone and Johnny Wilkinson.

The faced catastrophe in 2015 when their studio and rehearsal space in Kirkstall was engulfed by water after the River Aire burst its banks during the Boxing Day floods. Singer Matthew Johnson cycled through five feet of water to try and salvage equipment, but the band lost their back catalogue and new material, as well as Johnson's car. They had been unable to get insurance, even though the building hadn't flooded since 1866. They have since rebuilt their careers through crowdfunding and the support of friends and family.

Hookworms formed in Leeds in 2009, and played their early gigs at the Brudenell in Hyde Park. Their first studio, in Armley, also fell victim to flooding.

Their new album deals with topics such as masculinity, male friendships and the need for men to perform 'emotional labour' in relationships.

Review: Hookworms at the Brudenell Social Club