Tag Archives: Live Music Review

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.


Public Access T.V. At The Academy Dublin With Support From MUNKY

Public Access T.V. kick started their tour with their debut Dublin show in the Academy. “It’s a ballsy move” I was told when I asked an individual before the show what they thought of Public Access T.V. playing their first gig in Dublin. Yes, perhaps a “ballsy move” but isn’t that what we have come to learn about this four piece? They make “ballsy moves”, they do what they want and I suppose you don’t receive a frenzy of press hype, label bidding wars, a critically-acclaimed debut album and sold-out tours without a “ballsy” attitude. I, for one have waited 4 years to see these guys. My expectations were quite high and boy! – they did not disappoint.

Our home-grown Dublin four piece MUNKY were a more-than-adequate warm-up to Tuesday nights main act. The talented bunch who can even play the tune to their tracks on empty beer bottles were in no way fatigued from their back to back weekend shows. Not letting a few stolen pedals get them down they belted straight into their organic disco grunge with all the fire and attitude this band do so well. From the get go the band were keen to get the crowd engaged. Frontman Zachary Stephenson steps off the stage and beckons the shy audience closer while Niall Donnelly bellows “I can see you, come the f*ck up”. It’s a little different performing as a support act but they take it in their stride packing oodles of energy into their set. These guys move around and create an engaging show and are a must see.

Public Access T.V. had no set list, the plan was to wing it and play what they felt like. With a chilled effortless cool stance on stage the four-piece let the tunes do all the talking. Their swagger soaked ‘Evil Disco’ kicks off their set, instantly oozing sunny glowing warmth into the room. Zippy riffs over punchy drums and elastic bass lines give the perfect atmosphere for carefree dancing and wiggling. With their precision sharp instrumentation and infectious choruses, tracks from their first album ‘Never Enough’ go down well as dancer’s groove and bounce to their zealous hooks and fetching delicious melodies. Frontman John Eatherly nonchalantly sways back and forward in a sort of casual almost wiggle as he charms his way through the set, he beckons the crowd closer “Maybe you guys can come a bit closer don’t be shy”. The quartet once again do another “ballsy move”, they play a decent amount of new unheard tracks giving the audience a sneaky preview of what’s to come on the ‘Street Safari’ album. The lights turn blue as they begin their first new track the oh so disco funky flavoured ‘Wait It Out’. With its sublime rumble bass line and melty melody this track is glitter ball disco ready. A brief band meeting on stage decided the next track while bassist Max Peebles tells us about his joy at seeing the Phil Lynott statue “I’m glad they brought it back out of storage or wherever it was… thank you”.

Their tracks take a new dimension live, a little edgier the live scenario lets them take their tunes to a rougher more gritty outfit.’Lost In The Game’ live really allows you to appreciate the sublime jangle guitar lines in all their glory and that solo is just incredible. The new tracks continue with ‘Shell No. 2’ which reintroduces their relaxed slinky sound with its infectious chorus and lush backing vocal injection. While ‘Meltdown’ is the perfect theme tune to freedom with its windows down cruising in the sunshine guitar lines and rumbling drums. This track is the soundtrack for youthful summer bliss. The boys kept our favourite track until last leaving us in suspense as to whether or not it would be played. ‘Patti Peru’ from its guitar whining intro announces itself with such magnificence. Eatherly exasperates over screechy guitars and punchy drums. Xan Aird shakes up the solo adding extra little flickers and whines into a solo I know so well I probably could sing along to, making it refreshing and almost new. With their set finished as the audience call for “one more tune” the band thank the crowd, smile, wave and take their leave.

Public Access T.V. do their thing, its good honest kick ass rock and roll with some funk and disco flavours mixed in. No messing about, no pomp and ceremony just good solid tunes. Their charming laid back stage presence is refreshing and easy to enjoy and their suave, glitter-ball rock and roll is one to be admired.

 

 


MUNKY ‘7am’ Single Launch In Whelan’s Dublin With Support From Accidents In The Workplace

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.

 


Royal Blood at the 3Arena Dublin with support from Black Honey and At The Drive In

Rock duo Royal Blood ascended into the 3Arena Sunday night for their biggest headline show in Dublin to date. The band who have built a devoted fanbase with their hard-pummeling rock have been known to put on some insane live shows and the 3Areana was no different. I’ll admit having seen the lads perform at smaller venues before and experienced the raw intense show they put on I was afraid that a larger venue would lose that intimate mania…. I was wrong.

Brighton four-piece Black Honey kicked off the night for their Dublin debut blasting straight into ‘All My Pride’. Front-woman Izzy Baxter (who popped outside before the show to give queuing fans posters and encourage them to stay warm) exuded sass and swagger with every hip pop and powerful point at the crowd. It’s difficult to connect with the crowd with a lengthy runway between you and the audience but she ventures as far out as her guitar lead would let her and wallops out as much charisma and oomph as possible. It’s an enchanting display as Baxter commands the stage with a daring poise that can only be admired. Their tracks, undoubtedly catchy with spaghetti western guitar wails it’s fiercely thrilling live. The hazy fiery ‘Madonna’ with it’s blazing guitar lines follows using the shrilling distortion and hysteria causing intro of ‘Somebody Better’ as its chaser. They belt out solid tunes that blend hazy dreamy melodies with shattering drums and scorching guitars. Baxter’s sultry vocals radiate over the dizzying instrumentation as she struts about exuding a fierce confidence. “Sláinte” she says while lifting her drink to the crowd, “did I get that right? … what’s the craic?..what is the craic though?” she questions before the steamy new single ‘Dig’. ‘Hello Today’ sparks a clap along among the crowd and you have to hear ‘Spinning Wheel’ live that’s all i’m going to say, it was dynamite. Black Honey are an exciting band for sure who amply coped with the large crowd and put on an exciting show. With a debut album due next year, I can’t wait to see what they do at a headline show here in Ireland.

At The Drive In followed and wow words can hardly describe the experience. Cedric Bixler-Zaval leapt rolled, kicked and wailed his way through the set. It was hard core brain assaulting mania and the crowd loved it. With his signature mic drop and kick trick as he strutted down the runway oozing swagger and attitude it was a swanky spectacle for sure. With tracks accelerated to neck breaking speeds they had the crowd pumped and ready to rock. “yeah that’s right tell your momma tell your nan” he shouts before the frantic ‘No Wolf Like The Present’. The crowd erupt into a blur of moshing heads and flailing limbs. “Can you feel it in your veins?, can you feel it in your teeth?, let me see your teeth” he bellows while the crowd scream back and you could for sure feel the sound pounding through your body bashing your senses. It was a mighty frenetic set that was unforgettable. Cedric Bixler-Zaval is tireless he doesn’t stop moving from climbing onto the speakers and karate kicking to springing into the air frantically. He gets the audience riled up and pumped. The mass of spiraling interweaving guitars pulverising drums and screaming vocals grip the crowd into submission, At The Drive In are a force to be reckoned with.

Royal Blood take to the stage as the crowd explode with screams and whoops. ‘Lights Out’ sets the fans alight. The duo have an impressive red laser light display which encased the band for the first track and with artistic screen images they were ready to make an impression. Every lyric, riff and drum roll was bellowed out by the crowd as frontman Mike Kerr takes every opportunity to strut down the stage to the crowd. There’s a lot going on from stage hands swiftly placing mic stands as Kerr moves about the stage to rapid guitar changes. Favourites from their self-titled debut album sparked massive cheers and huge sing alongs. Their fans adore them and make filling an arena like this easy for the pair. Kerr has grown into his frontman role and is taking it in his stride as he slickly blasts out those lusty beefy riffs. “I don’t believe this is happening to us tonight this place is huge” he admits before the explosive ‘Come On Over’. It’s a tireless set of moshing singing and hair everywhere. Ben Thatcher’s pulverising drumming is so powerful and mighty it sends the crowd into a frenzy of headbanging. With dashing backing singers introduced for ‘I Only Lie When I Love You’ these guys exude a new suaveness. They’ve learned a lot and for a two-piece filled the arena with their larger than life swagger. Track after track is announced to mammoth screams and whiplash causing headbanging. They pulled out all the stops from a dramatic clap along, shredding solos to a stick on fire hitting a gong. Royal Blood made sure they put on a show to remember. There was crowd surfing, pushing, fighting for the drum sticks Thatcher threw out followed by the “Olé, Olé, Olé” chant. The duo had the crowd in the palm of their hands. Though these guys have developed a rock and roll persona they haven’t left their humbleness behind “we feel very uncomfortable right now. Worst front man of all time.  I’m a man and I’m at the front and that’s it.” Kerr admits before the knock out  ‘Hole In Your Heart’ which sees Kerr relocate to the front of the stage to play keys. Kerr recalls their first time in Dublin where they got “so f**king drunk… I feel like we fit in here, I feel like we all drink the same”.

The crowd scream and stomp for the encore until Royal Blood triumphantly return with ‘Ten Tone Skeleton’ and the fierce ‘Out Of The Black’ which causes total anarchy among the crowd. Thatcher approaches the crowd stepping up on the barrier they fight over him and reach forward to grab any and every part of him so much so he says “whoa whoa hang on guys”. They leave the stage like heroes as the crowd bellow, scream and clap.

Royal Blood blew the roof off the 3 Arena. They steamrolled in and blasted out a cracking show losing little to none of the manic intensity of their more intimate shows.