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.
We sat down for a chat with Ross Farrelly, Pete O’Hanlon, Evan Walsh and Josh McClorey from The Strypes before their show at The Bowery, Rathmines. We talked about their new EP ‘Almost True’, touring and the crazy antics at shows.
Watch the interview below
Cavan rock and roll band The Strypes have released a new EP ‘Almost True’ to ease the withdrawal symptoms of those eager fans craving some more music from the four piece. ‘Almost True’ follows the rooted rock and roll sound of their outstanding album ‘Spitting Image’ which was released in the summer. ‘How Could I Forget’ propels the EP into motion with it’s sun kissed laid back hazy vibes, glorious guitars and snappy punchy drums. Catchy and vibrant it’s dance around the room in your PJs bliss. The song is sweetly nostalgic and easy-going, romantic yet sombre but still hard-driving. It’s the kind of track that hits your bloodstream with the urgency of one’s first kiss and one’s first heartbreak all at once.‘Heavenly Soul’ is a banger. That gritty darkly hued T-REX- esque riff to start followed by a foot tapping beat sets the track up for big things. With shaky percussion building tension and an infectiously catchy chorus, it’s a triumphant blast of euphoric adrenaline. With blistering guitars, rumble on drums and a sharp harmonica injection smothered in dark tones it’s chilling yet fiery. Intricately layered and tightly bound it’s one for the sticky mosh pits. ‘Freckle And Burn’ brings us the four piece’s swagger drenched shimmy ready 60’s tinged rock and roll. Trying not to wiggle and dance to this song is impossible. It’s so infectious and groovy and that bassline, elastic, sensual and slick. The track builds to a mammoth crescendo of screaming vocals and frenzied instrumentation it’s so cool and sleek. The guitars stride and jab with a feverish charisma creating a strut worthy swanky prance of summery delight. The final track on the EP is a live cover of ‘Summertime Blues’. This feisty accelerated version showcases some shredding guitar work, neck snapping drumming and attitude driven panache. Razor sharp and laced in distortion these guys have whacked out a smashing cover. I’m a fan of the original Eddie Cochran version but who can resist a rough and tumble pumped up rock and roll cover.
Stream ‘Almost True’ below
We sat down for a chat with Ross Farrelly, Josh McClorey, Pete O’Hanlon and Evan Walsh from The Strypes following the release of their new album ‘Spitting Image’.
Watch the interview here
The Strypes have released their third album ‘Spitting Image’. It was written and rehearsed in the local Town Hall in the bands hometown Cavan, and recorded in legendary Rockfield in Wales. The explosive four piece comprised of members Ross Farrelly (Lead Vocals/Harmonica),Josh McClorey (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Pete O’Hanlon (Bass Guitar/Harmonica) and Evan Walsh (Drums/Drums), kick started their career with a well-received performance on the Late Late Toy Show in the winter of 2010, the indie foursome released their debut EP in April of 2012 before following it up with two critically-acclaimed albums ‘Snapshot’ and ‘Little Victories’ in 2013 and 2015, respectively. The band who all grew up within a few miles of each other, all the same age have toured relentlessly together for over 5 years. Now they return with their highly anticipated new album ‘Spitting Image’ which sees the band take a step further with their sound.
‘Spitting Image’ is a thirteen track collection of tight, slick surf rock blended with their signature R&B, with new wave flows and ridiculously catchy pop smacks. ‘Behind Closed Doors’ kicks off this beachy upbeat vibe. It’s snappy bright and oozing feel good sunshine. With a melody that is The Beach Boys – esque and luscious, it becomes clear they have tightened up their sound becoming more sophisticated while still holding a fun care free vibe.It’s playful, energetic and exuberant as it bounces with an infectious beat with sharp zealous guitars that stride and sparkle with vibrant enthusiastic luminosity. ‘Consequence’ has a gleaming guitar feature that adds a sting to the hazy track while passionate vocals give a raspy grit. Rich percussion and well crafted, it follows its predecessor blazing with intensity and a golden radiance. The jaunty ‘(I Need A Break From) Holidays’ is up next with dazzling guitars and a punky vibe while ‘Grin and Bear It’ bring us mellow nostalgic tones with a melty sweet melody and zesty golden guitar flickers. The riff based infectious ‘Easy Riding’ glides in with a strutting tempo and swagger infused charm. The infectious explosive chorus will have you dancing around the room like a fool. It’s a confidence building little gem, play this song in the morning and you will be set for the day nothing will get you down. With a shredding harmonica feature it’s got all the quirky components you need. It’s the lion tamer of the album. ‘Great Expectations’ introduces itself with a beautiful warm instrumental. This track bounces with a peppy fun rebound. Another melodic delight with blissful guitar – it’s sublime. ‘Garden of Eden’ begins with a steamy sultry guitar feature and sizzling distortion with gently luring vocals it’s the scorching hot temptress of the album. Sticky muggy tones and sensual sway add an enticing bewitching almost psychedelic effect while the harmonica stings break up the hazy delusion with refreshing sharp bursts. ‘A Different Kind of Tension’ brings us back to the animated sprightly sound and ‘Get Over It Quickly’ returns us to the sun soaked breezy shimmy summer fun sound. ‘Turn My Back’ is vibrant with a neck snapping beat and rapid tempo that will have you bopping along uncontrollably. ‘Blue Shades Over Red Eyes’ is a smooth glide of positivity. It’s a shades on and prance like a boss kind of track. ‘Mama Give Me Order’ takes the role of the tender gripping heartfelt track.It’s simple with just acoustic accompaniment yet quite powerful. The rhythmically rich ‘Oh Cruel World’ brings us to the end of the album with a warm twang and African beat. It’s hard not to clap along to this insanely catchy track. It sums up the album well, irresistible melody tight production and extremely danceable. This track will make you want to listen to the entire album again and again.
The Strypes have created an album rich with great tunes. Their knack for an irresistible melty melody is undeniable and their slick refined musicianship for this album is incredible. They really have grown immensely creating an album that is a treasure trove of opulent sounds.
Stream ‘Spitting Image’ below
I was invited to head down to The Strypes ‘Spitting Image’ album launch at The Thomas House, Dublin. The four piece seemed dedicated to include all ages of their fans in the celebrations by performing an under 18s show beforehand giving their younger demographic a chance to enjoy their live show. We sat outside the room listening to The Strypes put on a wild performance for the screaming young fans claustrophobically jammed into the room. I thought surely they can’t maintain this energy and vitality for two shows in a row.
The door opened to the second round of fans as they packed into the room tightly like sardines in a tin I could feel the temperature rise and the oxygen being stolen from me with each breath, it was going to get sticky and warm very fast. David Keenan kicks off the show warming up the crowd with his powerful emotional vocals and lyrics that cut deep.With just his guitar for accompaniment he glides from soft lulls to sharp potent wails while the audience sway gently. Belting out tracks like ‘Cobwebs’ and ‘The Good Old Days’ with a lilting twang and traditional Irish influence. His strong weighty lyrics and knack for story telling is perhaps wasted on the eager young faces but never the less undoubtedly striking and in the moment compelling. Keenan calls Harry Hoban on stage to accompany him for his final track to play keys adding an elegant graceful tone to his set. Keenan’s performance seems almost personal, it’s a man on a stage telling you his life story without flashy effects, it’s simple and raw.
The crowd push forward as they wait restlessly for The Strypes with Miles Kane blasting through the speakers to keep them entertained. A mixed bunch in the audience, The Strypes seem to hold a following of all ages. One man I spoke to who was there with his daughter loved the boys just as much as she did and had seen them many times before. These were hard core fans who knew every detail, every strand of hair on the lads heads.
The four piece take to the stage triumphantly and blast straight into some new tunes from the new album starting with ‘Behind Closed Doors’. Filled with a Californian vibe and exploding with electric energy one thing I noticed from the start, this album is definitely a game changer. The performance is slick punchy and mighty, the crowd erupt jumping,moshing and singing guitar riffs and lyrics – they know every song inside out. The atmosphere in that room was volcanic. Pete O’Hanlon passes out free badges to the crowd, who in turn later hand Ross Farrelly a can shouting “session! session!”. A circle of moshers leap and push for the bouncy ‘(I Need A Break From) Holidays’.They dedicate ‘Grin And Bear It’ to David Keenan. The crowd are wild and in a frenzy thirsty for track after track pushing forward and just jumping manically. Josh McClorey had to ask them to move back a little because they were crushing the people in the front. Not only did The Strypes showcase some slick dexterous playing they made sure everyone was safe at the show regularly checking if everyone was ok and handing out their water to parched fans. It was a sticky stuffy show that got wilder and wilder as the set went on. The band played well past their set with old songs like ‘What A Shame’ and ‘Scumbag City’ setting the crowd alight. With Evan Walsh drumming like a speed demon in flashy sun glasses and Pete O’Hanlon (who was reunited with a lost sock) exuding swagger and pizzazz, these guys effortlessly absorb the crowd into their brand of Beatlemania. They included everyone from the back of the room to the front in their party and boy was it insane.
The Strypes have grown into a band who can put on a monstrous show with outstanding stamina and vitality while showcasing their sophisticated, slick, refined sound and fun swagger-infused showmanship. I highly recommend seeing The Strypes live.
Watch the video for The Strypes new single ‘Great Expectations’ below