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.