Tag Archives: Live Music Review

Gorilla Troubadour ‘Tom Cruise Does all his own stunts’ single launch in Whelan’s Dublin

Funk flavoured sounds, hefty rich rhythms and lush guitar refrains fill the room for Gorilla Troubadour’s ‘Tom Cruise Does All His Own Stunts’ single launch in Whelan’s Dublin. I entered the venue as their second song ‘Hey Hey’ wafted around my ears. Its charming strut quality and swagger drenched bass groove walked me through the bopping crowd. The tasty guitar lines, tight presentation and punchy drums were a delightful welcome. These guys have a fun approach to their live show as banter with the crowd is plentiful. The band played through their set creating a soothing sense of mellowed out hysteria through the crowd. They build their tracks perfectly providing something for every music lover from swoony melodies, intricate guitar lines and lush wails to a sublime hip moving rhythmic section.These guys are tight. They smother their songs in a wispy smoke of darkness – ‘Ophelia’ in particular is one hair raising gem. For such a young band their sound is sophisticated and mature. There are no holes, no lapses, just solid rich tunes ready to mosh, wiggle and sway to. To get a band this tight with a sound this compelling is a special find but then for them to be great live as well- that’s pretty fantastic.

A few well known covers pepper the bands set list – a bass slicked rendition of Royal Blood’s ‘Figure It Out’ goes down particularly well with the crowd while a refreshing cover of Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart‘ (which sees frontman Dylan Kearns take to the keys) also graces the set list. The band are all impressive performers, Dylan Kearns plays the frontman roll well. His smiley persona comes across bubbly yet relaxed as he tackles the crowds song requests for ‘Esmeralda’.Eamon Ganley lead Guitarist has some shredding solo’s and boy does he execute them well, (perhaps playing up to the crowds enthusiasm) he strikes and wiggles with precision and panache while bassist James O’ Connor is immersed in his grooves as he majestically and nimbly swoops and glides through the bass lines. With a slightly deflated “confetti cannon” pop (more like a glorified party popper) the band introduce the most mesmerising artist to sing with them, Cat Doran. Her soulful vocals are hair raising, chilling and utterly enthralling as she ever so coolly blends with Kearns sweet falsetto.There is a mystical,enchanting yet haunting quality to her voice that lures and entices you into every note. Kearns’ vocals are pretty outstanding for ‘We Drove For Miles’ which was my favourite track of the night. This smoky gem features a sultry guitar solo, a spellbinding melody and oodles of passion.

‘Tom Cruise Does All His Own Stunts’ translates magnificently live. Drummer Eric Walsh puts on a gorilla mask and the track whacks into fruition. This track coils and uncoils itself ever so confidently live- it feels like it could be the work of a band with twice the experience.Walsh is quite the proficient drummer. He lays down their meaty foundation and executes it with a fluidity that is first rate, showcasing he can maneuver a pounding assault or a sweltering lighter tap-tap-tap with finesse and gusto. ‘The Apple Truck’ is the final track of the night and Kearns introduces this before he takes a memorable and lasting picture on his disposable camera – “your looking well” he glints at the crowd before they cruise into the sizzling track which once again shows the bands striking musical talent.

Gorilla Troubadour are definitely a band to keep an eye on. They have their heads screwed on. They know what they are doing, what works, what sounds good and then they turn that up a notch and make it theirs. The cool swagger with which they dispatch their meat-cleaver riffs, slick musicianship and catchy choruses is what makes these guys pretty special.


Sun Mahshene’s ‘Come Alive (Leave This City)’ single launch at The Grand Social Dublin with support from The Thrash Blues

Nestled in the heart of a rainy Dublin city The Grand Social Dublin host psychedelic band Sun Mahshene’s ‘Come Alive (Leave This City)’ single launch. A projected mirage of kaleidoscopic colours, swirls and patterns decorated the stage wall creating a prismatic dreamy atmosphere as we eagerly waited for the nights music to begin.

Rock n’ roll duo The Thrash Blues cooly take to the stage to ignite the night with their burly grooves and slick riffs. Not one’s for banter they whack into each track with surety and vigor loosening up the crowd’s hips with their swagger steeped richly developed tunes. Liz and Ro have finely chiseled their sound for maximum impact. The beefy riffs, slick guitar licks and melodic purrs weave their way suavely through the punchy drums superbly to create a thrilling contrast. Their raw yet refined sound is perfect to dance to. The Black Keys – esque ‘Wicked Man’ blasts out the energised and playful loose musicianship of this band with an edgy punk whack that hits you in the mouth half way through. There are lush guitar twangs, riveting drum rumbles and warm smooth vocals throughout the set filling each track with its own unique and vibrant character. For bluesy tinged, punk slapped rock n’ roll The Thrash Blues are the ones to call.

Poised on stage amidst the purple hued smoke of dry ice, Sun Mahshene stand ready to melt our mind with their glorious psychedelic drenched tunes. The dim lighting causes their silhouettes to haunt through the smoke providing a spooky, eerie atmosphere.Their set is brimming with malleable elastic soundscapes weaving their way through sharp slinky guitars, elastic bass grooves and chiming keys as Nathan Henderson coos and warmly caresses the euphoric melodies with his velvety vocals. The distorted whines introduce opening track  ‘Making The Call’ as the band peer through the shadowing mist. These guys bend their shredding raw rock and delightful sweet psychedelia seamlessly making for a gritty and diverse listening experience. Sun Mahshene are musical guru’s who leave a trail of sugary sprinkles throughout their tracks which lead you down a delicious rabbit hole craving for more. ‘The World Will Grind You Down’ and ‘This Girl I Know’ are mesmerising live as the band entwine each track in glorious layers adding rich depth to each component. There are three guitarist on stage Ryan Daffy, Ian McGinn and vocalist Henderson – this brings a new dimension and thrilling intensity to each track. These guys are also fun to watch on stage bassist Darren Hughes dances, executes all the suave guitar poses and hair flicks known to man while hopping, bopping and wiggling along to the tunes – he only stops to place a can to his brow to cool himself down while Dave Murray’s proficient drumming is a joy to watch and listen to. Backing vocals and percussion were provided by Ray Burke while Rob Crosbie took to the keys to help flesh out and adequately translate Sun Mahshene’s stunning sound.

‘The Righteous One’ is one beautiful 60’s – esque gem. Distortion on guitars fizz and bubble over a dreamy vocal and euphoric melody while punchy drums and enchanting soundscape create a dizzying sweet wall of sound to encapsulate your mind, soothing, sedating and enlightening you all at once. It’s pretty magnificent. I forgot where I was for a brief moment – the tracks are so luscious and consuming. The new single ‘Come Alive (Leave This City)’ was equally as gripping. Its anthemic chorus had members of the crowd jumping and throwing their arms in the air while that defiant beat thumped through our chests invading and controlling every bounce and bop. There was no lag or cavity in their set. Every track was engaging and blissful on the ears. These guys are growing and flourishing beautifully and with a sound that leaves you thirsty to hear more their live show is the perfect medium to guzzle up their dazzling sound and refreshing tunes.

The band closed their set with the effervescent ‘When The Bomb Drops’. However the crowd refused to allow that be the end, they demanded the band return for an encore. As they shouted for “No Control”  Henderson shrugs and timidly obliges “Right we’ll do it”. ‘No Control’ takes the roll of the final track in its stride. Sulky and brooding it swarms in with dark tones, shrilling guitars, reverb vocals and a magnificent wall of sound that rushes adrenaline and fiery intensity into your veins. This exhilarating track was the perfect closing tune.

‘Come Alive (Leave This City)’ is released on 15/02/19 make sure to check it out. These guys have something special.


Fangclub at The Sound House Dublin with support from The Winter Passing

“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. 


Vernon Jane and Drivelight at SOMA Dublin stage Whelan’s

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. 

 


LOVR ‘Surf’s UP’ EP Launch in Whelan’s Dublin

Having become quite the fan of LOVR’S new EP ‘Surf’s Up’ since reviewing it earlier this month I was intrigued as to how the EP would translate through a live show as there is a lot of intricate parts weaved together to make this EP great and what better chance to find out than the EP launch on Thursday night in Whelan’s, Dublin.Forming together his 6 piece dream team, “The LOVRS” Megan Nic Ruairí on Keys/Backing vocals, Siún Ní Dhomhaill on Backing vocals, Oisin Leahy Furlong on Bass, Alan Dooley on Guitar, Rob Kennedy on Drums and Joey Gavin on Acoustic guitar, LOVR’S show was more memorable and blissfully sweet than I could have anticipated.

It takes a lot to perfect these luscious tunes but these guys put their all into this set and it paid off.The immaculate ‘Survive, Hold On, All You, Need Is, Time’ kicks off the show followed instantly and elegantly by ‘Movin’ To LA’ with heavenly harmonies sweet toned guitars and the most divine melodies coming to life through this kinetic live setting. The purity of these tracks alone will knock you for six, but when performed live they take you to a whole new heart stopping dimension of blissfulness and elated euphoria as the impeccable mellow toned guitars soothe and lament filling the room with a swayable instant rush of freeing tranquility and that is the glorious effect of LOVR’S tunes. It was a professional display as his band on the night knew their parts intimately like a well oiled machine divinely selected and hand picked to make the rich sounds more awe inspiring. The crowd bounce and sway joyously as the band allow the tunes speak for themselves. I love it when a band can perform without any fluff and have the entire audience in the palm of their hands mesmerised by the tunes and proficient musicianship and this was one of those special moments. The guitars, keys and drums were executed with gliding gentle strokes and graceful grand swoops. “Any girls in the house ? ….. Any fellas? This one is for all the girls and the fellas”  McGlynn  introduces the infectious, boppy, and clap along ready ‘Ode To The Women Of My Life’ off his first EP  ‘Girls Girls Girls’ to the crowds whoops and whistles. Without much persuasion from McGlynn the crowd push to the front for the buoyant ‘Fallin’ ‘ to dance and bounce along before becoming completely consumed by an emotional rendition of Maria Kelly’s ‘Stitches’. It is here we really understand the scope of McGlynn’s exquisite passionate vocals.Iowa City singer songwriter Elizabeth Moen is called onstage for ‘Great Escape’ to join the band for a beautiful powerful duet.  However, for me ‘Song Of The Sea’ was the pinnacle moment . Having heard and loved this track from the EP I was nervous as to how it would translate in a live setting, it would either be epic and surpass all my expectations or well ….not. This track is musically rich it has such amazing potential live and of course it was breathtaking. I’m sure it was a difficult task for each member of the band to maintain those glorious harmonies and intricate instrumental elements but it  made this performance just so special and vibrant. I had goosebumps from the moment it began and the crowd lapped up those jubilant sounds. They swayed, bopped and some almost returned to their tribal instincts- one guy was dancing moving between a sort of monkey dance to wiggling bum shake I almost expected to see him beat his chest to the infectious jungle -esque beat. The concentration on stage was intense, all their faces fully focused while still enjoying every moment hopefully as much as we were. I couldn’t be more happy with the live performance of this track I’m one of those people who get attached to a song and grip onto the hope of a pristine hair raising performance of my treasured new find. I was blown away with that energetic vivid performance.

LOVR put on an intensely satisfying show. If you get a chance to see LOVR live I would highly recommend going you won’t be disappointed. His tunes are sublime and those melodies melt into your ears like butter on hot toast. I spent the rest of the night and next day singing the title track from the EP ‘Surf’s Up’.                 

 


Crazy Town at The Bowery With Support From Sub Motion, Accidents In The Workplace and MUNKY

We sat down to watch the sound check of the Crazy Town Gang while waiting to interview them last Saturday night before their show at the Bowery Rathmines Dublin. The screaming one two’s between some slick bass, steaming guitar licks thumping drums and just sublime noise pounding through my ears was enough to tell me the crowd was in for one hell of a night. Seth Binzer affectionately known by his stage name Shifty Shellshock has one heck of a band behind him.

The support acts on the night Sub Motion, Accidents In The Workplace and MUNKY are all regular offenders on Indie Buddie as they seem to be tearing up the live circuit lately appearing everywhere I turn, much to my delight as I know these are all great bands and have come to enjoy seeing their live shows and their growth with each live show. There is a theme of missing band members tonight, Accidents In The Workplace have no saxophonist (Sean Kenny) on stage and Munky have replaced guitarist Conor Lawlor with Tom McGlynn formerly of the optimists for the night.

Sub Motion kicks things off in their pure raucous manner. A set list brimming with energy and sass, it’s another slick well oiled performance from these guys. For me Sub Motion sound their best live -the rawness of the guitars the gritty rumbling bass lines and fired up drums is a dynamite combination that materialises beautifully and dynamically live. Front woman Rebecca Geary is a force to be reckoned with- i’ve never seen her have an off performance, every show is full throttle.She hops, sways,swishes her hair, sits on the drums and dances with immense energy and spirit, it’s mesmerising.

Accidents In The Workplace follow. All of them squeezed on stage like sardines in a tin can.I love watching these guys live, it is always such fun “You’re looking well  its very warm, but sure look, did you see the football?  It’s good isn’t it ,its mad the way they run after each other and do all the football-y things but I enjoyed it all the same… lets play they are gonna get aggressive now we are Accidents In The Workplace!” the always charismatic Sean McMahon introduces the band. The banter is in full swing as they belt out their vibrant tunes. Lauren Murphy always knocks me for six with her outstanding vocals and dramatic dance moves she is always wearing magnificent colourful outfits her spritz of colour was cleverly placed on her shoulder on Saturday night – a rainbow of beautiful pink, purple, blue and yellow hues. As ever their tunes just make everyday better and their smiling faces are a joy to see. The band make the most of the space they are given and put on a wonderful show. After banter about putting a hole in the wall to see if the Bowery will sink along with immaculate performances of ‘Wake Up’ and How? They give us an extra little treat,  McMahon takes to the center of the stage to whack out a rendition of  The Fugees ‘Ready or Not’ with a trumpet added in. This rendition is pretty amazing, proving these guys aren’t just funky, groovy and melodious as hell they have some cool swagger, rap ability and attitude too.

MUNKY follow and erupt on stage in true MUNKY manner. Tom McGlynn does a fine job slashing out those hefty riffs and a slick little intro leaving all the hair flailing to Zachary Stephenson. Another immensely entertaining act live. Bassist Niall Donnelly shouts at the crowd to move closer as they belt out the funky grooves and evaporating guitar lines. The stage antics were turned down a little compared to other times I have seen them but they still exuded a huge amount of swagger and poured everything into their set keeping the dancing crowd engaged. These guys are extremely talented and every guitar stride, mosh infested instrumental and drum battering confirms this. Sub Motion’s Rebecca Geary tackles backing vocals adding a dash of chicness to the stage layout. Their manic sound is chilled by some bluesy elements making for a wholly enthralling and diverse listen.  ‘7am’ is a prime example of the finesse of this four piece as they juggle the emotional intense verses and brooding backdrop with the gritty heaviness masterfully and this translates to a sing along riff and mosh intensity that is difficult to match. Of course ‘Hunter Gatherer Blues’ and ‘Ms. Communication’ end their set giving Donnelly a chance to playfully interact as he dramatically stomps and jumps to his knees and nearly falls off the stage.

Crazy Town swarm on stage fierce and feisty as bassist Hasma Angeleno guitarist Filippo Dallinferno Giomo and drummer Luca Pretorius play a mighty intro as Shifty strides coolly onstage and moves as close to the crowd as he can. Baffled and mesmerised by his larger than life persona the crowd grab for his hand and stroke his shoes. Straight away the crowd are jumping and moshing- it’s a relentless onslaught from Crazy Town. Hasma screams into the mic while executing the most unique guitar poses- the yoga Tree Pose becoming the standard … and why not? ‘Come Inside’ sets the crowd alight, beer is spilling everywhere, fights are breaking out as two individuals are staring each other off before calling it quits after a good 2-minutes threatening each other, and girls are falling flat on their faces from the moshing- it’s pretty special. It’s a no nonsense set, there’s no time wasted with banter, these guys are here to deliver and that’s what they do. “Dublin what’s up!” Hasma shouts before  the crowd erupt for ‘A Little More Time’ . The atmosphere is electronic and fiery. Filippo is one slick guitarist who is pretty light on his feet gliding and jumping behind with graceful ferocity while Luca pulverises the drums with bloodthirsty stamina. Shifty, as expected plays the front-man role well, he engages with the crowd and swings the suspended monitors as he stands and squats- rarely moving from the front of the stage. A hopeful member of the audience buys Shifty a pint and presents it to him holding it like a golden prize-  so dramatic I almost expected a golden light to form around it while a sudden sweet sound of angels sing “ahhhhh” the beautiful moment is broken by Shifty’s apologetic refusal as he explains the band don’t drink and they offer it back to the audience member, who gladly takes one for the team telling them “its lovely”. The singing along among the crowd is captivating as each track fills them with a confidence and attitude while the lyrics roll off their tongue as they gaze at Shifty in awe almost proud to have him witness their in-depth knowledge of the lyrics. “let me see your middle fingers” Shifty introduces the blustery ‘Born To Raise Hell’. The crowd once again below back the lyrics while waving their middle fingers in the air. ‘Decorated’ is announced to massive screams and whoops and ’Butterfly’ is considerably more fun than it ever was, Crazy Town don’t even have to sing once the chorus kicks in the crowd take over.

It was a pretty special show Crazy Town swarmed in and boy did they take over and hey its nice to know they “fu*king love Dublin” and its “one of their favourite places ever”, we’ll take that.


BLESS and SISTERAY at The Workman’s Club Dublin with support from The New 52 and The Clockworks

 

 

Two of London’s hottest new bands BLESS. and SISTERAY joined forces for a sweaty night of Rock’n’Roll with support from Ireland’s The New 52 and The Clockworks in the Workman’s Club Dublin. It was a night to remember brimming with high excitement, top rate tunes and thrilling music.

Dublin rock band The New 52 graced the ears of the early birds with a set filled with their entire new EP ‘Green’. These guys have a sublime sound -its smooth, vibrant and just glorious to listen to. ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ is a delightful number smothered in zealous guitar and a superb running bass. Their tracks are filled with that gripping heart warming vibe that makes you smile while swooning in sweet nostalgia. Darragh Cullen’s vocals are filled with emotion and the harmonies are just delightful. Kicking off a gig can be a difficult task, but I like how these guys went about it – they got up there, did their thing and encased us in their luscious tunes. There are some little gems in their repertoire, ‘Controlling The Night’ features some dazzling guitar moments from Conor McLoughlin while ‘Is There Revolution?’ gives, Mikey Deasy a chance to shine with his running rooted bass grooves and let’s not forget that foot stomping drumming from Sean O’Connor adding a healthy punch to each song. Track after track builds the good vibes even the sweet soppy ‘Love’ to start has that adrenaline rush that Springsteen’s ‘Born To Run’ possesses while remaining tender. It’s a tight display from the four piece.

Galway punk band The Clockworks take the stage with no messing about. They blast straight into ‘Rumours In The Stockroom’ the rapid lyrics fluidly rolling off vocalist James McGregor’s tongue. The tracks are snappy and quick and this four-piece waste no time in delighting our ears with a constant onslaught of punchy instrumentally deft tunes. The guitars are sharp and the rhythm about as pumping, groovy and elastic as you can get. It’s angsty, edgy indie punk that you can dance to at its best. They are a dapper bunch too- adding a slap of sleekness to their punk flavoured brawl. ‘Those Drunken Nights and Pointless Fights’ features a supple steamy bassline while the biting sting on guitar slice through your ears in the most thrillingly sharp manner. McGregor is an intense performer giving it all he’s got while Seán Connelly and Tom Freeman stand cool and collected at either side, effortlessly gliding from slinky bass grooves and sultry guitar licks to crashing mosh ready tempos. They write tunes to get you fired up filling your veins with adrenaline ‘The Pills Keep Coming’ is the perfect example of this –  its catchy, accelerated and one you won’t forget anytime soon. I loved the “song about dickheads” ‘Mr Tight T-Shirts’ it’s witty honest and to the point with the instrumental backing to make it pretty epic and sticky mosh pit ready.

London’s Sisteray follow next. Whacking straight into ‘Faaast Food’ their staggering swagger coolly oozes through every note. It’s a professional display which seems to take hold when they get on stage. With sharp fuzzed guitars splitting the snappy drums and a driving bass its feisty punchy rock with some sleekness seeping through. The new single ‘Algorithm Prison’ is electrifying live there is the perfect shout along chorus to get any crowd riled up. They blend unbridled rock & roll, relative pop sensibilities and pure attitude to create a sound that is so damn riveting. Niall Rowan is a charismatic frontman who exudes charm and composure while the swagger of guitarist, Daniel Connolly and bassist Michael Hanrahan is undeniable, they are pros at those guitar poses and rock and roll facial expressions. Older tracks such as ‘A Wise Man Said’ explode with tuneful enthusiasm. A recording of the Queen speaking (which goes on a litter longer than normal) and a sweet jazzy jam which Calum Landau on drums kick starts introduces ‘Queen’s English’ as Connolly deals with a guitar malfunction, they assure us “we are not royalists”. When the track does finally begin its worth the wait, but it’s the new tracks that peeked my attention. These guys are growing as artists and that is exciting to see. Honing in on their skills and making their sound tighter and more intricately layered. ‘Rumour Mill’ (my favourite track of the night) with its rumbly rhythm and twinkling guitar to start teases the mammoth to come as they blast into the chorus. The steamy guitar whines contrast the rooted danceable rhythm superbly. There is a steady growth here as these guys are refining their sound without loosing the rough edgy rawness we love so much. That instrumental bridge is just magnificent. There is exciting things to come from this band they have not reached their full potential yet.

Finally London’s infectiously energetic and insanely enthusiastic BLESS. take to the stage like a hurricane whizzing through their set starting with the vibrant neck snappingly brisk ‘Old Man Jake’. Vocalist Joei Silvester is a riot on the stage- throwing every pose and shape that is imaginable. Using his guitar as a gun he shoots at the crowd,dances, hops and wiggles –  it’s a spectacle for sure and thoroughly entertaining. Kieran Kearns on vocals and keyboard is another mesmerising character who can squat by the keys for nearly the entire set while also wiggling and dancing. It was a fun and enjoyable set that raced by so fast we didn’t see it coming. Their tracks are catchy with melodies that sneak into your brain and refuse to leave. Its difficult to resist the charms of this band the melodies are delightful, guitars jangly and sharp and the rhythm is set to dance mode – what’s not to love?. “what we don’t like is ignorant f*cking arseholes who are fat and talk a load of rubbish you wish you understood but don’t really wish you understood cos that would make you just as bad as them so you just keep you mouth shut so you don’t stick out and you hate yourself for it”  is the epic introduction to ‘Fat Stan’. ‘Easy Lover’ is my favourite track on their set list. It’s sultry desert western riff seeps and creeps while a luring rhythm lurks behind building in intensity up to the manic chorus. It all goes a bit crazy here Silvester mistreats a tambourine and begins whacking it around while dancing suggestively. Short for time, they speed into the next few tracks. They finish their set the best way possible .. with a Halloween song – anyone who knows me knows my love for Halloween (its better than Christmas) so, ‘Skeleton Dance’ was the perfect ending to their frantic highly entertaining set. They do a surprise encore once Jake Barnett sorts his rogue guitar out. Ending with Silvester and Kearns sprawled out on the stage on their backs.

These are four fantastic bands that everyone should jump on the bandwagon and get familiar with. They are all ones to keep an eye on.

 


New Valley Wolves ‘GOSPEL’ EP Launch in The Workman’s Club Dublin With Support From Sub Motion and Scally

If you have a hankering for meaty, lusty rock dripping in more swagger than any one person can handle than, the Workman’s Club Dublin was the place to be last Saturday night. Dublin duo New Valley Wolves were launching their new EP ‘GOSPEL’ with support from Sub Motion and Scally.

Scally & The Dirty Rats set the night in motion with a little less on-stage antics compared to when we saw them last year. Scally is still suave on stage- jumping about as we watch him explode with an insane amount of energy while belting out tracks brimming with sock-it-to-me passion. They whack out ballsy, raw rock and roll with a relentless stamina that is one to be admired. Scally’s band – The Dirty Rats bring something magnificent to the table. Ben Mulligan on guitar continually hits the mark with slithery licks, thrilling spine-chilling shrills and such finesse that allows the nimble Eddie Reynolds on bass to bounce and rebound some funky groove filled rhythms off. “This next song is about laying around on a f**king Sunday morning and you f**king don’t know whether to ring a f**king takeaway or pull the f**king balls off yourself” Scally colourfully introduces the infectious, snappy ‘Filthy Animal’. With an attitude that screams egoistic rock and roll swagger Scally definitely grabs attention for sure, and the tunes back his persona up. They are catchy as hell and capture the beauty, brawn and panache that is punk rock in all its glory. The as of yet not quite named ‘Help’ “Well it was called help last night I can’t decide on the name” and new single ‘Get Ready For War’ demonstrate this perfectly with intricate licks, flicks and sing along ready chorus’. Scally raps and belts with enough chest-thumping pride and fiery attitude to keep you pumped and ready to join him in his Kiedis- esque dancing and limb flailing. They deal with technical difficulties like pros, and in true Kiedis manner the shirt comes off for the brazen ‘Lets Fuck’. It’s a fiery kinetic set with the blistering lead guitar leaving scorching burn marks through infectious bass grooves while Colin O’Brien literally breaks the drums with his pounding elastic beats, and to bring it all together is a charismatic, fearless frontman. The definition of swagger.

Sub Motion follow with an empowering set of catchy tunes and a sublime boisterous wall of sound. The punchy rhythm creates an easy foundation to get those body’s dancing and grooving while scuzzy guitars resonate through Rebecca Geary’s powerful vocals.  Geary is larger that life and takes on her front-woman role with a fierceness that is masterful. In fact, it was a stage brimming with charm and charisma as each member exuded their own brand of swagger. Though each track is riotous there is no shortage of fun on stage. These guys enjoy what they are doing, and boy does it show. The band are on top form all smiles and cheery. Banter is at a minimal as they waste no time whacking out their infectious tunes ‘Gun In Your Pocket’ in particular is one catchy song- you will have to prise that one out of your brain. It’s rumbling strident bassline runs along building in intensity before the track explodes with shrilling crashing guitars and mighty drums. When these guys are sleek and sultry it’s sublime ‘Headlights’ in particular comes across magnificently live. There is not doubt these guys are ones not to be missed live.

    

New Valley Wolves walk onstage and launch into a killer introduction to ‘Eyes on Me’. There is an air of professionalism with this duo that leaves you in awe. Singer/ guitarist Jonny Lucey’s gut-level riffs, and drummer Baz Joyce’s thunder-struck beats are incredible. Their bluesy tinged tunes are ball crushing and powerful and have the crowd moshing and dancing in no time. ‘Shake your bones’, ‘Silver Tongue’ and ‘Fire In The Blood’ are all well received as they keep the energy travelling at neck snapping speeds blasting out the monstrous tracks in their repertoire. There is no messing around, the tunes are heavy, crisp and robust. The lights go out between tracks – at times dimmed leaving just the duo’s silhouettes visible creating suspense for what’s to come. Their rip-roaring new single ‘Cut-Throat’ keeps up the constant barrage of top-quality riffs and with that sing along chorus has the crowd chanting along mindlessly. Lucy is fierce. He fist pumps the air with a stare that would curdle milk while savagely shredding through his gritty guitar riffs. Joyce pummels and batters the drums with bloodthirsty stamina which pounds through your entire body. Each track layers on another thick dollop of cool gritty intensity building the rooms energy to frenzied levels. The two spend most of their set going hell for leather and the rugged steamroller ‘Animal’ follows this vigorous trend, as members of the crowd howl and whoop. The never played live before  ‘Aloe Vera’ avalanches through with a shivering chorus while Joyce pelts out a mesmerising display of pulverizing perfection before the lean mean roar of ‘Trouble’ closes their set.

On Saturday night New Valley Wolves sounded brawny, focused and all powerful. Their raw grandeur filled with death ray fuzz and might leaves you reeling and craving for more. There is no stopping these guys. There are only two of them, but boy they sound like an army.

 


Bicurious ‘I’m So Confused’ EP Launch In Whelan’s With Support From Griffo,Phazam Haze and Tribal Dance

A notable reminder that I had just witnessed a crazy show was the broken glasses and a beer-soaked coat which paved the way as I left the venue last Thursday night. Anyone who has seen Dublin Instrumental rock duo Bicurious live before would know their shows can get pretty intense and wild and the ‘I’m So Confused’ EP launch upstairs in Whelan’s last Thursday night was the definition of madness.

Once stamped in with the bands logo on our hands at the door we were settled into the new refurbished upstairs in Whelan’s by singer songwriter Griffo. His acoustic set was particularly warming as he belted out a jangly instrumental intro before flooding through with his raspy rooted vocal. Tinnitus symptoms weren’t going to slow him down. With his hood over his head he crooned and roared with a soulful intensity. “It’s more socially acceptable to drink and drive than to smoke now a days” he says before his sips his drink “I’m off the smokes”. There is no pomposity here it’s raw, pure and honest tunes.

Phazam Haze follow with their gritty muzzy sound. They hold a simple stance on stage as their guitars provide a headache inducing yet thrilling fuzzed-tone while the bass fluctuates from swinging grooves to thundering rumbles. The drums pummel through relentlessly creating a wall of sound that mind boggles your brain. Each track mercilessly blasts out their almost stoner rock tunes that slither, hop and bash creating the perfect frenzy for the crowd to go crazy to. Bassist and vocalist Alex Harvey skips and jitters on the spot in anticipation for the all-out mosh mania crescendos that travel at dizzying speeds. The sound is so intense, heavy and bombardingly fantastic you’re pretty much dazed and stoned on the music alone. They create a potent brew of meaty rock at its finest.

Dublin’s progressive post-punk/math rock three-piece Tribal Dance are the final warm up of the night. Their sound is gruesome beauty. They bludgeon, batter and assault while gliding through on the most luscious neck snapping basslines. This trio bring a mixed bag to their tracks cruising in sweet and melodic before electrocuting you with acid doused garage rock. Their set felt like having a rave in a huge tub of marshmallow- all gorgeous and enveloping, but with moments of fire and brimstone scalding you throughout and the crowd loved every minute. The crowd surged to the front moshing, pushing and swaying lapping up every moment, as the vocals scream and wail over the fluctuant upbeat rhythms, darkly hued sour riffs and thumping basslines. With these guys when the tunes are sweet and mellow its glorious and woozy and when they are heavy it’s a mind blowing, shredding onslaught.

Something crazy comes over the crowd as Bicurious take the stage. Maybe it’s the shift to green  lighting or the frenzy caused by the previous acts or their blaze of energy and hefty tunes but they inflame the mosh pit and create total anarchy. Gavin Purcell throws his hat off and their mighty Intro begins. The crowd instantly begin to jump turning the floor into a trampoline creating a ricochet effect which made you bounce while standing still. The duo melt the mosh pit into a blur of flailing limbs and tumbling bodies with the speed-riffing ‘Octagon’ and ‘Fake News’, which brings about massive cheers and the first riff sing along of the night. From the get-go members of the crowd are crowd surfing. Practically everyone has a go, sometimes two or three at a time. From the melodic sweet mellow melodies to the hefty thumping rhythms the crowd know every pulse and waver in the tracks. One small command from Taran Plouzané and the crowd descend to their knees ready for the massive instrumental blow up that brings heavy, manic moshing and pushing. Bicurious’ set never feels repetitive, nor less than electrifying to watch. As an instrumental band they keep their audience engaged with intricate, luscious riffs and sweet melodies while packing in a thrilling heavy dose of mosh ready ferocity. Plouzané stomps about the stage while Purcell throws his drumsticks into the air and gestures to the crowd to go wild. The crowd began circle pit moshing as people were flung about the floor, it was a sweaty spectacle for sure. Their as of yet unnamed ‘New Song’ which went down a treat, showcased a slight shift in the duo’s sound. Sounding like an acid drenched dance rave it made the crowd go nuts. With the green lighting it was definitely a dizzying savage bombardment to the senses. ‘Sleep’ brings about another blitz of hair swishing, sweat flicking moshing which surprisingly brought a nice whiff of sweet smelling shampoo my way not exactly the smell you’d expect, but a welcome one. The band bring  Mark Barry from Dicey up on stage for a monstrous cover of Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Bulls on Parade’. Experiencing a mic dilemma Barry belts out the track anyway with the crowd helping to amplify the vocal line. Naturally a Rage Against the Machine cover sparks total anarchy among the crowd making the faulty mic unnoticeable. Multiple crowd surfing, a torn down curtain and many spilt drinks later we come to the end of the duo’s magnificent set. Bicurious’ set was so furious and fast that their hour whizzed by in what seemed like 10 minutes. ‘Father’ closes their set resulting in the duo crowd surfing as the audience lift them high and proud, Purcell lays back fully horizontal, “like a boss” raised above the crowd. Plouzané joins him in what looks like a blissful state of ecstasy.

There is no question of the talent of this duo. Their tracks speak for themselves and with their masterful composition, knowledge of what people want to hear and the sheer energy they radiate these guys are definitely ones to go see live. It’s never stale and with the crowd they bring in, it’s always shell shocking.

 


The Strypes At The Bowery Rathmines With Support From Sub Motion and Accidents In The Workplace

There is no shortage of talented bands here in Ireland and they all raise the bar on performance with each show. The Bowery has a knack for picking out some really musically enriched bands and artists and placing them together to make a wholly satisfying night. Last Thursday night they had Cavan boys The Strypes with support from Sub Motion and Accidents In The Workplace. If you know anything about The Strypes they pride themselves on putting on a good show and Thursday night was going to uphold this.

Sub Motion kicked things off with a ruckus set of rock. Rebecca Geary is a charismatic front woman – bold brassy and exuding swagger from every movement with powerful exquisite vocals to match her magnetic persona. ‘ Headchecked’ introduces us to their full vigorous rock. Shredding guitars, gritty bass lines and mighty drums are important components to the construction of their explosive sound. They blast into track after track with relentless stamina from  ‘Mr President’ to ‘Headlights‘, each track expelling more fiery angst attitude than the last. Geary dances, swishes her hair and jumps about in an engrossed frenzy caused by the instrumentation. Her banter is minimal but she encourages the crowd to join in with the sing along friendly  “na na na” of ‘Soccer Mom‘. Their tracks are catchy. ‘Gun In your Pocket’ in particular is hypnotically infectious and has a hefty running bass line that is superb live. They drew the crowd closer and have them whooping and bopping along in no time. They belt out a smashing cover of Yeah Yeah Yeahs ‘Heads Will Roll’ which gets the crowd lively and singing along. I always have respect for the band who has to warm up the crowd it can be a trying task but Sub Motion did a proficient job with a set that was filled with scorching energy and hyperactive adrenaline.

Accidents In The Workplace follow. This band always make me smile. Lauren Murphy is such an entertaining performer and she seems to radiate a bubbly bright persona all the time. This time she is placed beside saxophonist Sean Kenny and trumpeter Aaron Cooney, making the usually cool composed chaps laugh wiggle and dance along with her. She dances and grooves with humorous facial expression in between and with a vocal power that could wrestle you to the ground she is fast becoming my favourite female vocalist. With so many people on stage you would think their set might sound too much or a little chaotic however these guys are in synch. They play flawlessly through each track even with a broken guitar string. The broken string Is blundered over with alien- esque sounds. Murphy comments “I feel like we are waiting on a UFO”. ‘All I Wanted’ and ‘Wake Up’ flood the room with luscious joyous sounds that make you want to shuffle and dance. It’s feel-good music at its best and their beaming perky faces are such a welcoming sight that makes their set a delight to watch. This is the second time we have seen Accidents In The Workplace this year and it was just as refreshing as the first time and perhaps more animated. “Happy International Women’s day …. This song goes out to all the women” guitarist Sean McMahon says before their final track ‘How?‘.

A Black curtain closes over the stage as the crowd stand in anticipation for The Strypes. The curtains are pulled back in a dramatic manner and Evan Walsh’s mighty drum thumping intro of ‘Rollin’ and Tumblin’ begins. The quartet perform all dressed in their dapper attire, sunglasses in place they bring a rowdy set of slick guitars crashing against pummelling drums with some sweet toned harmonica twangs sprinkled on top. They set the crowd alight with the opening riff of ‘Eighty- Four’. Sing-alongs are plenty and moshing is a certainty. Pete O’Hanlon is as always, the perfect master showman- he would and will do anything and everything that comes into his head as he jumps hops spins with a relentless stamina. The synchronized head movement between O’Hanlon and Ross Farrelly add a nice bit of humour and fun to what is a slick proficient set. Their stage personas are becoming larger than life and they seem at their best live, smiling and bantering with the crowd. They create a modest effect of frenzy among the crowd who are a wee bit tamer than the last show I saw the Strypes at. The girl frenzy is turned down a touch at the start but they scream when Farrelly slides down his glasses to look over them and they lose their sh*t when he strolls down to the front holding the mic out for them to sing along. Josh McClorey shows off his nimble steamy guitar skills and rock and roll guitar facial expressions as he adds some ornamentation throughout their set which is particularly impressive during ‘Angel Eyes’. They balance their set between a perfect mix of the beloved tracks from all albums ‘Black Shades Over Red Eyes ‘provoking a massive clap along while ’Get Into It‘  and ‘Freckle And Burn‘ cause a shimmy dance and mosh frenzy. All tracks go down well with the crowd. It’s a room full of youthful exuberance and good tunes. They are a charismatic, mesmerising quartet on stage, each member managing to hold your attention and leave you gob smacked at the swagger and finesse this young band possess.

The blistering ‘Scumbag City’ brings about the “last song” of their set. The crowd bellow back the words before beginning a sweat flicking manic moshing display. They clap and sing along to the final verse as the band look upon them fondly. The band leave the stage but the crowd weren’t having any of it, they stomped and shouted, “one more tune!” until the band obliged returning with ‘Heart Of The City’. This is where the band go crazy this encore sees McClorey play his guitar behind his back while O’Hanlon attempts to play his bass with his arse. ‘Blue Collar Jane’ creates a frenzy among the crowd and the band alike.  O’Hanlon makes the brave and insane decision to jump up onto the rafters and plunge into the adoring crowd and crowd surf back to the stage like a hero. These guys know how to do an encore.