“Keep an eye out for next year cos something f**king huge is happening” Steven King declares to the crowd amid the sweaty mania and it definitely felt that way on Friday night as Dublin’s Fangclub returned home for their show in The Sound House. The band were excited about something and you could feel it in the sticky air.
Dublin indie band The Winter Passing kicked the night off with their dynamic indie punk tunes resonating through the venue filling it to its capacity with the bands delightfully catchy and powerful tracks. Guitarist and vocalist Rob Flynn jumped literally into the first song as he exuded a mammoth amount of energy throughout the set bantering with the crowd and performing every possible guitar pose. The band whack out a healthy dose of emo-flavoured tunes with a dash of dreamy indie pop sprinkled on top. Throwing in some new tracks along with tasty older tracks like the buoyant ‘Significance’ and the upbeat melodic ‘Daisy’ it was an engaging and enjoyable start to the night. Their sound is hook filled, melodic, hefty and full of gusto and Kate Flynn’s sweet airy vocals contrast the stomping, distortion and gritty background perfectly. There is something for everyone here – meaningful lyrics, a fantastic tight wall of sound brimming with punchy drums, groovy rhythms, twinkling keyboard, shredding guitar hooks and The Winter Passing tie all this together with a compelling stage presence.
The Fangclub trio along with Long Tail’s Ed Scanlan on guitar calmly take to the stage with a suspenseful wail of distortion creating that all important tension and excitement before they whirlwind into ‘Knife’. The universe’s apparent attack to disrupt them throughout their set with technical difficulties doesn’t faze the band, they whack on regardless humorously and lightheartedly joking through the stumbles. There is a glint in their eyes shimmering and blazing behind the mass of hair over their faces. Appearing more comfortable, confident and oozing that rock star quality they are evolving and maturing nicely. ‘All Fall Down’, ‘Follow’ and ‘Dreamcatcher’ from their debut album evoke a massive sing along among the crowd. Kevin Keane jumps, hops and ricochets of each bass slap and groove that he proficiently produces with ease and grandeur while Dara Coleman’s concise epic drumming keeps the crowd at a constant relentless high. Their darkly intoxicating tracks from the new EP ‘True Love’ translated superbly live, better than I could have ever anticipated. ‘Heart Is A Landmine’ in particular was spine chilling, goosebump inducing bliss – Coleman’s drum roll just resonates though your very core. Frontman Steven King oozed effortless swagger and charm throughout the set as he smiled, joked and pranced between Keane and Scanlan. High-fiving members of the audience and shaking their hands the atmosphere was friendly yet electrifying. Each track traveled with sweet brute force. Their vigorous wall of sound wrestling your ears while the smooth melodies caress and entice you into submission. Crashing guitars, distortion, and pulverizing drums create this blood thirsty sound that Fangclub do superbly and its wholly satisfying. The crowd lapped up every guitar strike, drum pound, vocal wail and every spin executed by Keane. A cracking-ly dark rendition of Babylon Zoo’s ‘Spaceman’ sat snugly between ‘Better to Forget’ and ‘Lightning’ as the crowd moshed, danced and flapped about. New track ‘Viva Violence’ in particular is a spectacular track and one to get excited about. It’s sinister bewitching verses glide easily into the ear while the jangly guitar weaves a golden cheeky thread between the buoyant beat and groovy bass as the feverous chorus explodes with Fangclub’s manic brand of chaotic grunge. It’s well crafted, steamy with a hint of sass through the instrumental anarchy- no wonder the band were excited for next year. ‘Bad Words’ spirals the crowd into a frenzy of blissful turmoil as they prepare for final track of the night, ‘Bullet Head’. Flailing limbs, crowd surfing and beer raining down from a disheveled souls jumping hand among the mosh pit is how the set list ends. Once ‘Bullet Head’ springs into their ears the crowd erupt. ‘If anybody falls pick them up” King shouts as they bash in to a frantic instrumental which ends with King and Keane lying on the stage as a bruising mosh pit worships over them.
Fangclub’s set was mind blowing and majestic. Their live shows exude swagger and fun while the tracks hook you firmly into their tasty brand of garage rock leaving you craving for more. I’m looking forward to what this three piece have in store for us next year.