There’s nothing like some tasty tunes to get a Friday night buzzing and SOMA Indie Clubnight provided us with this in Whelan’s last weekend. Hosting a wild sticky show with two of Dublin’s finest up and coming bands Vernon Jane and Drivelight.
Indie Rock and Rollers Drivelight kicked things off blasting into their set after frontman Fionn Phelan calls the crowd closer to the stage by playing a form of Mr. Wolf- he tells them to move 10 steps forward counting each step as they do so while drummer Ross Daly stretches his arms warming up for what’s to come. These guys are tight, confident performers and each guitar whine, lick and solo shrills as the groovy rooted foundation keeps the crowd bopping along. Phelan takes every opportunity to engage with the crowd moving as close to them as he can. They explode into each track fluidly ‘Obvious’ and ‘Lakeside Park’ feature fantastic drum rumbles and insane kinetic energy throughout. These guys have fun onstage glancing at one another with smiley faces while belting out infectious mosh ready tunes that have the crowd jumping. The funky flavoured ‘I Really Wanna Go’ translates magnificently well through the live setting. Phelan shows his true, pure Catholic devotion and knowledge as he dedicates ‘One Horse Town’ to Pope John Paul before he is corrected and told the pope at the moment is Pope Francis. New single ‘Take Two’ was pretty special live as it traveled at a neck snapping speed infused with sublime bass lines and thrilling guitars crashing into a buoyant flexible drum beat- it’s one perfect for the sticky mosh pit and the band whacked it out with such refinement and slickness it left a sense of awe. These guys oozed swagger and brought some funky grooves and attitude driven tunes to Whelan’s which got the crowd all hyped up. Not even a broken guitar string could stop them from giving it their all and having a good time.
Vernon Jane descend onto the stage, all eight of them squeezed on stage, ready to rock. For their “last show for a while” they brought out the big guns. Two charismatic backing singers and a trumpet and saxophone player join the band on stage for a manic set that had the crowd in an insane frenzy. Singer/guitarist Emily Jane is mesmerising on stage- fierce and powerful she shouts and coos between slinky bass lines and shredding guitar solos which weave their way through punchy drums and brass blasts. The backing vocalists dance, swish their hair, coo and harmonise- blending perfectly while Jane exclaims and soulfully bellows over the crashing instrumentation. The crowd are wholly immersed in their boisterous sound moshing, pushing and smashing into each other at dangerous forces.New single ‘Paradise’ was particularly mind blowing as they blend their sweet luscious sounds with jazzy elements and acid soaked psychedelia. Steamy guitar whines and fluctuant bass grooves float over a swayable melody and delicate beginning before the track explodes into skull crushing rock heaviness. Bassist Ricky Lahert climbs onto a table to the left of the stage to play, balancing on this unstable platform. Everything gets a bit erratic after ‘Paradise’. New, yet to be released track ‘Push Me’ brings a whole new brand of craziness to Whelan’s. The crowd become more intense as they wiggle and dance mindlessly to the infectious grooves and honey like guitar tones before consuming the frenzy as the track gravitates to a more ear piercing rage. Bruises were plentiful as the crowd become more manic when the set fully develops. The moshing was like a tidal wave as the crowd crashed into the front of the stage some people spilling over onto the stage. There was an odd sense of comradery among the audience, they pushed each other onto the floor and then picked them up just to smash them to the ground again.Vernon Jane’s set is full of epic moments Jane joins the crowd for a bit of skull bashing moshing followed shortly by Lahert and of course the crowd go insane. These guys don’t write tunes to wallow in, they are tangible get up and jump, mosh and groove tunes brimming with attitude and fiery charisma and this makes for one hell of a show.
Both Drivelight and Vernon Jane are energetic, professional bands who put on a high powered dynamic show that leaves you in a dazed state of exhilaration. Two bands you must see live.