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.