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.