Last Friday night we headed to Whelan’s Dublin to check out Dublin disco grunge band MUNKY’s ‘7am’ sold out single launch. The band promised the event would be “like a birthday party of sorts but instead of cake and a bouncy castle it’s slices of pure fat, filthy funk and bouncy beats”. Though I would have loved a slice of cake what they had in store was much better.
Accidents In The Workplace kicked off the night with some funky tunes and peppy dancing. Lauren Murphy’s powerful vocals knock you for six from the first note of ‘All I Want‘. Her vocal command is masterful as she wiggles and dances without even a vocal quiver or shake. It’s on point, powerful and brimming with soul. Aaron Cooney and Sean Kenny stand firm, saxophone and trumpet raised as triumphant brass blasts fill out their infectious sound with warmth, depth and might. The grooves are body moving and the guitar lines sharp, thrilling and vibrant. These guys brought their party tunes packed with a sound that coaxes you to the dance floor and commands you to dance entrapped and mesmerised. They have fun on stage, smiley faces galore as they let the good vibes lure the crowd to dance and groove. Murphy is an expressive frontwoman and exudes oodles of sass and swagger as she hops and boogies on stage. Though their songs have a light fun exterior they pack a hefty punch behind them with gritty guitar lines and mighty drums. ‘Wake Up’ their most recent single translates magnificently live. It’s one designed to get those feet tapping. A Jamiroquai cover of ‘Just Dance’ and a funkadelic rendition of Spice Girls ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ gets the crowd singing along and bopping while a fallen earring and a story about “Patrick The Snake” keeps the banter brief and sweet, so the tunes can grease up the crowds hips and get them limber for MUNKY.
MUNKY take to the stage. Bassist Niall Donnelly and drummer Sam Russell jam and banter with the crowd while guitarist Conor Lawlor combats some technical issues. The crowd are eager, already singing the chorus to the unreleased track ‘Ms Communication’. Donnelly shouts the intro “you know why we’re hear you know why you’re here lets play some f*cking tunes” the crowd erupt as they pummel into ‘Facebook Friends’. Moshing is a plenty as the crowd push forward to the front. A sign held high saying “Play That Munky Music White Boyz” (which later in the night finds it home on stage) is waving floppily in time with the music. Donnelly and Russell playfully interact during the tracks as Donnelly, now well on his way to becoming a master showman hops, wiggles, falls to his knees and air drums dramatically. It’s a spectacle for sure and entertaining to watch. The tunes are massive and the crowd lap up every psychedelic distortion, hefty drum roll and elastic bass joggle. Zachary Stephenson pines, bellows and exclaims over the mic. Hair is everywhere both on stage and among the crowd as everyone throws themselves wholly into each magnifying track moshing frantically. Backing vocalists- the lovely trio Taylor Maslanka, Rebecca Geary and Edwina Van Kuyk wiggle and bop charmingly adding a bit off class to the chaotically fantastic mayhem on the floor. The crowd bellow back the lyrics adoringly almost proud of these four chaps on stage as they shred through our eardrums in the most fantastic assault to the senses. The band seem blown away by the crowd’s adoration and enthusiasm they didn’t appear to expect them to sing every word without fail. ‘7am’ has the moshers grooving to the slinky rhythm and singing along to the “do do do” lyrics. When the audience sing your guitar riffs and licks you know you are on to something good and that’s exactly what happened last Friday night. They sang guitar melodies, basslines and air drummed along with Russell as well as bellowing out the lyrics as if they narrated the lives of everyone in the room. They cheer and whoop the band like heroes returning from war before the thrilling rumbling intro to ‘Jam and Banana‘. MUNKY blend sweet luscious melodies with heavy skull bashing tunes effortlessly and the crowd worship each and every track- singing along to the sweet ‘I Can’t Quit’ just as zealously and passionately as ‘Hunter Gatherer Blues’ which was so loud I don’t think I could even hear Stephenson’s vocals above the crowd singing along. ‘Ms. Communication’ closes their set after the rowdy crowd yell for “one more tune!” Stephenson obliges on the condition that the crowd help him sing. ‘Ms. Communication’ kicks off and Stephenson doesn’t even have to sing the chorus. The crowd take over vigorously bellowing out the “we don’t wanna talk about it we just wanna get F*cked” lyric merrily. It was spectacular. The perfect end to a show which displayed a band that are destined for big things. Their larger than life persona and infectious tunes teamed with masterful musicianship and hard work makes these guys ones to watch for sure.