Category Archives: Live Music

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.


Queens of the Stone Age at the 3Arena Dublin with support from BRONCHO

Sultans of Rock Queens of the Stone Age returned to Dublin last Friday night at the 3Arena to a sold-out show of elated fans. It is the last night of the European tour and some of the fans have been queuing in the bitter cold since the morning to get to the safety and immaculate view of the front barrier.

Oklahoma four-piece BRONCHO began the thawing of the crowd with their chunky, fuzzy garage rock smothered in deliciously infectious pop. They coolly walk on stage and blast straight into ‘Try Me Out Sometime’. Ryan Lindsey the immensely energetic frontman, yelps and wiggles throughout the tracks. His floppy coat adding flight and a floatability to his jumps. From the instantly singable ‘Class Historian’ to the slick shaky ‘Señora Borealis’ these guys put on a swagger drenched flamboyant show that oozes suave and swagger. It’s difficult not to wiggle and bop to these tunes and BRONCHO let the music do all the talking with little to no banter between tracks except for the chanting of “Queens of the Stone Age” which the crowd were only too happy to join in. Their tunes are power pop smacks of delight, their sound is fresh and invigorating, ideal for hazy summer days and just what those early bird queuers needed to defrost.

A translucent black curtain falls between the crowd and the stage creating a shaded filter to the goings on on stage as AC/DC blast from the speakers to entertain the fans. The audience erupt as Queens of the Stone Age take to the stage. Their presence undeniably larger than life. ‘If I Had A Tail ‘ kicks off their set to screaming fans. Homme is in a particularly good mood smiling and dancing with gyrating hips and wiggles. The anecdotes are plenty and the atmosphere is electric. The villains of anarchy have arrived, and boy do they put on a show. There is no massive screens or fancy distractions, it’s the five piece and the crowd and it is extraordinary. The charisma, swagger and just plain godliness has the crowd in awe. There is so much happening on stage as each member exudes fiery stamina. Like a tag team they keep everyone on their toes with their explosive vigour. ‘Monster in your Parasol’ ’My God Is The Sun’ three songs in and it’s total turmoil in the mosh pit. Limbs flailing everywhere, hair flicking into strangers faces and necks whipping while the five-piece stride back and forth on stage jumping and kicking. ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me’ whacks the crowd into another frenzy. This is the thing with a band like Queens of the Stone Age they have so many cracking tracks a live show is a constant thrilling battering to your body. Michael Shuman strides about the stage with a fierce, intense, sultry stage presence belting out lusty mammoth bass lines and haunting backing vocals. While Troy Van Leeuwen suave and dobonair as always skips about the stage in a red suit. “We came to dance, drink and hopefully get everyone laid.. let’s get loose” Homme declares before introducing ‘The Way You Used To Do’ as Dean Fertita ventures from behind the keys to add some brawn on guitar. Members of the audience are already being lifted out of the pit all kerfuffled and distressed from the mania. It’s all crowd surfing, shoes in the face craziness. With so many guitarists on stage the band members at times crash into the free-standing strips of light while wandering and spinning around the stage. ‘No One Knows’ evokes screams as the crowd bellow out the riff and lyrics along with the band once again causing total anarchy among the crowd. Jon Theodore showcases his slick pummelling drumming skills for first of two drum solos while Homme lights up a cigarette and watches the crowd’s reaction smiling. The crowd erupt shouting “Olé, Olé, Olé” “that’s exactly why we are here…that, right there, that’s the f**king moment…  tonight, it’s our night, your f**king night, our f**king night” Homme responds before the finale of ‘No One Knows’. Usually a drum solo is a brave move but it’s Jon Theodore for god sake it was legendary! Homme is effortlessly cool with his slicked back swagger and sensual guitar licks his presence commands the attention of the arena. We all subdue to his every wish. ‘I Sat By The Ocean’ ‘Smooth Sailing’ every track bashing out relentless stamina and maintaining the frenzy of the crowd. ‘Make It Wit Chu’ and ‘Villains Of Circumstance’ act as the breathers on the set list giving something to sway and sing along to while also allowing the body feel the pain of the moshing and battering from the previous tracks.

After ‘Sick Sick Sick’ the band leave the stage as the crowd howl for “one more tune” impatient they scream for “Burn The Witch” and Queens of The Stone Age oblige with an encore of ‘Misfit Love’, ‘Head Like A Haunted House’ which comes with a anecdote about a cheeseburger incident when they were last in Dublin where a guy sneaked into their van and was eating a cheeseburger when they found him. Homme calls him “the fastest drunk person I’ve ever seen in my life…..if he’s here tonight f*ck you man …no,  if he’s here tonight…I’ll suck your dick” Homme laughs. They leave ‘Burn The Witch’ to last and the crowd go nuts.

Queens of the Stone Age are just too cool and induce a state of riotous lawless anarchy among the crowd. They are the divinity of rock, the stage their temple and the crowd their loyal adoring worshipers. And a show like this is the reason why nothing can beat them, they hold all the trump cards. The crème de la crème of rock music.

   


Young Earth ‘Frequency Illusion’ EP Launch in The Academy 2 Dublin with support from Classic Yellow and Dry Roasted Peanuts

Young Earth held their ‘Frequency Illusion’ EP Launch at The Academy 2 Dublin last Friday night. The four piece pulled a large crowd to the venue as fans eagerly waited to hear the bands instantly hummable, energetic tunes.

Dublin-based alternative rock band Classic Yellow set things in motion with a slick sixties tinged psychedelic rock intro before introducing the vaporous swagger drenched ‘Woolly Mammoth’. Frontman Frank Collins croons over hypnotic instrumentation. It’s a punchy fiery track that balances velvety smoothness almost sleazy psychedelia with grittier brawny rock. “We don’t bite you can come a bit closer we are stronger together” Collins beckons as some audience members hurry to the front. It’s the most effortless attempt I’ve seen to get the audience to engage and the most effective he barely had to try. Now with the crowd in the palm of their hands they croon into ‘Ophelia’, Ciarán Traynor on guitar charming the audience (causing screams every time he approached the front of the stage) with his smiley enthusiasm while fluctuant guitars add a hazy dreamy euphoria to the trippy brooding track. Their set drifting from swoony sways to fuzz filled shimmy ready rock and roll it’s a refreshing listen. ‘Mondays Don’t Mean Anything’ follows featuring an elastic punchy rhythm and energetic bounce mixed with thrilling shrills of guitar distortion. There is something retro and familiar about this four piece. Each track is performed with an effortless classic charm and charisma with a modern twist. They finish their set with ‘Mountain’ featuring a nod to Talking Heads ‘Psycho Killer’ “Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far” lyric in the middle. An impressively professional and panache soaked set from the newly formed band.

Cork’s Dry Roasted Peanuts followed. It’s a set bursting with energy, beer spilling, sweat dripping and hair everywhere and that was just on stage. From opener ‘Cherry’ they flood the room with their bright springy brand of indie. Sharp and zealous each tune oozes electric stamina. With an effortless cool stance, they blend dreamy hazy bliss with fiery punchy blasts creating a power-driven set packed with blistering intense energy. “You’re a beautiful crowd……enjoy alcohol responsibly” Marc Ó Cearnaigh declares to the crowd before the infectious riff of ‘Window Licker’ kicks in. It’s a slick track exuding swagger and warm light indie vibes. Their mature suave sound resonates through the “slower” ‘Honey and Lemon’ which will be on their next EP.  Its a jittery smooth operator packed with passionate expressive vocals, moody beat and sublime guitar lines. With a shredding sick guitar solo thrown in for good measure it’s pretty epic. The raw aggressive ‘Tick’ brings a mosh frenzy of delight among the crowd, girls scream as Ó Cearnaigh introduces the rest of the band Robert McDonnell (Guitar/Vocals), Christopher O’Sullivan (Drums) and J.J. Lee (Bass). Not even a mishap with the mic could hinder their stride Ó Cearnaigh laughs it off in true rock and roll manner and carries on. These guys are a confident bunch of lads and they put on a first-rate show for sure.

Jacques Dutronc’s  ‘Les Cactus’  announces Young Earth. They stroll onstage to launch into show opener ‘Frequency Illusion’. Melody and intricate musicianship is certainly this bands strong point and for those of us who would have heard their music before are firmly aware of this, but the live setting drove the message home. Their tunes come to life live. It’s a vibrant jam-packed set ‘She’s Expensive’ is announced to screams and whoops. Three songs in and the band was sweating a member of the audience shouts up to drummer Ben Mulligan “Take your top off” he replies, “I can’t do that my mam is here”. The crowd dance hop and sing along to every word. It’s an intoxicating blast of bubbly indie rock, each track short snappy and delightfully catchy. In truth, the pace was pretty much flawless throughout the entire set, as the four-piece played their delicious menu of tunes, mixing the sweet tender ‘Bloodlove’ and honeyed ‘Let Go’ (which has members of the audience belting out every word they even sing out the intro) with their darker heavier tunes like ‘Undercover’. From there, the energy only rises further. The band throw some new tracks into the set as well keeping the crowd on their toes and giving them some new tunes to sink their teeth into. Mark O’Keeffe’s sweet vocals coo over the blistering instrumentation their live show brings. These guys put on a tight show its no nonsense, slick, bubbly and steamy all at once. The hooks couldn’t be hookier, the guitars thrillingly zealous and sharp and the drums fluctuate between peppy and light to heavy. Girls scream manically through the slick rendition of ‘Got a Secret’ before the room erupts with clapping for the bridge. When was the last time we heard as sweet and engaging a guitar hook as the one that powers closing track ‘Worth It’. The crowd joyously bellow the “oh oh oh oh” lyrics back.

Young Earth are definitely a band to keep you eye on. Their knack for catchy tracks will have you suffering from a serious case of stuck song syndrome until you are blissfully frothing the melodies from the mouth. Their highly energetic shredding live shows firmly place these guys on the ones to watch list.

 

 


Fangclub at Whelan’s Dublin with support from The Wood Burning Savages and Thumper

Whelan’s was buzzing Sunday night as it was the triumphant return of Dublin Garage/Rock trio Fangclub. The last show of the tour they were determined to make it one to remember slotting in an impressive two shows – a matinee for their under 18’s fans and the main show later that night. The stage was dressed with wreathes and green foliage around the drums and mic stands, their logo in place and a sublime piece of artwork for the backdrop, they have upped their game.

Derry’s The Wood Burning Savages kick started the antics. These guys emit an explosive energy with their punk driven rock and roll. With a set brimming with explosive tracks like the swagger driven ‘We Love You’ and the sharp slick ‘Rat Race’ they have the crowd bopping and dancing in no time. Frontman Paul Connolly is an intense performer he hops and jumps rigidly. With guitar kicks and poses he is insanely charismatic and energetic. He whelps and howls with striking fiery attitude while smiley guitarist Michael Woods blasts out some shredding riffs. Their infectious rhythm and slick display for ‘I Don’t Know Why I Do It’ has the crowd fluctuating between grooving and moshing. The tracks are anthemic the guitars frantic and blistering and that rhythm – nimble gritty and snappy. They are compelling to watch delivering a full bodied dynamic set that leaves you craving more. They close their set with the fantastic ‘Thoughts Of You’, now this track was my favourite its intense dark and explosive all at once. It’s one to just go mad to and a fantastic mouth-watering way to end their set.

Noise-pop quartet Thumper followed with a killer live set. Their proficient use of distortion, scalding guitars and punchy drums was mesmerising not to mention the running elastic bassline driving the tracks it was a fierce no nonsense set. It was loud ear bleedingly thrilling. Oisin’s vocals are subtle under the mammoth wall of crashing guitars and pummeling drums. There are plenty of vocal screams and jumping about from both the crowd and the band. Guitarist Alan is a force to be reckoned with he manically wanders about the stage while blasting out piercing guitar lines. Their set is an assault of frenzied punk slapped against bubble-gum pop melodies its quite the deadly cocktail. The crowd loved it heavily moshing and just plain going crazy to every track. The last track sees Oisin jump into the crowd while bassist Joey (who is preforming his last show with the band) smashes his bass off the stage. The crowd swarmed on the stage to gather the remaining pieces of his guitar until nothing was left even a small splinter that was overlooked was swiftly snapped up by an audience member. They removed every trace of his guitar. Thumper’s set ignited the crowd turning the mosh pit into a blur of flailing limbs and tumbling bodies with their speed-riffing tunes.

Blur ‘Song 2’ gets the crowd riled up and ready for Fangclub as they belt out the “Woo-hoo” lyrics. Once Fangclub hit the stage its total anarchy. Kevin Keane throws a mask into the crowd and they blast into ‘Better To Forget’ and the crowd erupt. ‘Dreamcatcher’, ‘Psycho’ only three songs in, and the trio have the crowd eating out of their oh-so-talented hands. It’s all high energy and vigorous sound blasting turmoil as the crowd mosh jump and push. Frontman Steven King, barely looks up when performing, his face hidden behind his hair but when he does he takes on his frontman role zealously. He wastes no time in jumping into the crowd singing and playing in the middle of them. Appearing more comfortable on stage and learning a few new tricks they are adding swagger to their list of qualities. Their set is as fierce and dynamic as ever but there is a change from the first time we saw them a new confidence and slick panache with some stage help at the ready to keep things running smoothly. Kevin Keane and Dara Coleman control the audience like puppeteers by keeping a steady pounding skull bashing flexible rhythm which pummels through the audience making them head bang frantically. With his boyish smile lurking amidst the shadows King takes a sip of water from a cup with flashing lights on it saying “this is what all the strobe warnings were for” before an electric rendition of  ‘Bad Words’. The crowd bellow back the lyrics to each track fist pumping the air and soaking up the trio’s dense brand of garage rock. They dedicate ‘Lightning’ to Kings younger brother who is in hospital, live this track displays the bands firm grip on hooks and melody. They slice through with sharp guitars and strangle you with a melodic ecstasy that hooks you in with its sugar-coated buzz. ’Loner’ is announced to cheers and whoops, it’s raw unadulterated and unfiltered bliss. Naturally crowd surfing happened as King was lifted above the heads of their adoring fans while confetti fell at the end of ‘Bullet Head’. The band returned for an encore with a shredding dark eerie cover of ‘Suspicious Mind’.

These guys are learning new tricks of the trade all the time and each show is gaining momentum and building as they grow. This time around they know how to work a crowd, and the crowd loved it all. People were screaming, beer was spilt, hair was everywhere (I got whipped by someone with dreadlocks) but smiles were aplenty and once again Fangclub kicked ass.


Brass Phantoms ‘Indigo’ single launch in Whelan’s with support from MUNKY

We were invited to Brass Phantoms ‘Indigo’ single launch in Whelan’s last Friday night with support from the ever so enthusiastic grungy disco band MUNKY who were also playing again after Brass Phantoms for the Midnight hour. Their swagger soaked set oozed slick panache doused in funky fluctuant grooves. Adding two lovely backing singers to their set MUNKY delivered a performance that was both classy and coarse all at once. ‘Regular Fool’ and ‘Hair of The Day’ introduce their sound. Packed with multi layers it’s slick, suave and gritty in all the right places. Their bassist Niall Donnelly exuberantly bounces and hops complete with dramatic poses and playful interactions with drummer Sam Russell which makes for an entertaining performance. Their sound translates sublimely live from shrilling distortion and skull pounding mosh ready frenzy to oh so cool and chilled groovy moments. Their disco flavoured grunge is infectious, it’s foot tapping body movingly delicious. Zac Stephenson’s vocals add a raspy gritty texture that shakes up their luscious sound. With catchy tracks like ‘Hunter Gatherer Blues’ and ‘7am’ on their set list it’s a feverishly danceable set. Your mind might refuse to dance but your body will succumb. ‘Just Can’t Quit’ lets Stephenson’s vocals shine. It’s a slow burner and insanely melodic and passionate, letting MUNKY display a more serious side to their repertoire. It becomes quickly apparent just how talented this four piece are. When you can get the whole room to sing along with you, you know your doing well. Usually it is an “oh ohh” or “woohoo” lyric or something but this quartet got us all singing “We don’t wanna talk about it we just wanna get f*cked” and why not it was catchy. Their guitar licks and riffs were divine and blissfully sharp while the baseline elastically slapped rumbled and grooved nimbly. It was a thrilling set exuding fiery passion pounding drums and expressive vocals. So much energy and dynamism with glorious melodies and rich textures poured from these guys along with a few splashes of sweat. The girls left for the final track ‘Bastered Luck’. MUNKY grooved through a sultry smoky rendition of the track. It’s a heavy dark intense chilling end to their set. These guys sent funky disco rock shock-waves around the venue. It was memorable for sure.

Brass Phantoms kicked things off with a floor shaking rumbling instrumental before blasting straight into ‘Ghouls’. With a simple stance it’s a serious set, frontman Ryan Cashell is an intense performer his rigid body radiating profound passion. Each track takes a different persona when performed live ‘City Of Wolves’ more rumbly and atmospherically anthemic. ‘In Sight ‘ and ‘Wood Words’ ease the crowd into an evening of indie revelry, soaring backing vocals resonate through the intricate weaving guitar lines and pounding drums. The band provide a refreshing shake up to their songs. Each track as energetic and intense as the next. Through their nostalgic melancholic melodies they possess an ability to captivate the listener enthralled in the swirling synth and guitar arrangement.  Each band members expression and interaction with one another and the crowd adds another dimension from Greg Whelan’s smiley banter to Cashell’s brave jump into the crowd. Adam McCabe’s rapid tireless drumming resounded throughout as his floppy hair joyously kept time. It’s the fiery explosive ‘Disciples’ that truly ignites their set and gets both the band and the audience hyped as the crowd mosh to the heavy chorus. The hollow woodblock knock between the beats for ‘Inferno’ is just mesmerising. The crowd cheer once it starts as they begin to shimmy and dance to its infectious pulse. It’s almost hypnotic. ‘Waiting Up’ lured in the cheering crowd with its anthemic elevated chorus that most bands could only dream of before the single that called everyone to Whelan’s that night… ‘Indigo’ was played. An immensely powerful performance of ‘Indigo’ proves the vibrant intense power of this band. It’s an energetic mammoth that leaves the crowd thirsty for more as they call for “one more tune!”. Brass Phantoms’ live performance was precisely what the majority of their songs are: vibrant, passionate, punchy and impossible not to enjoy.

       

 


Oktoberfest In The Bowery With Meltybrains? /Circus VIII /Mik Pyro & The Shogunz Of Stank/ Accidents in the Workplace / EHCO and Free Sunshine Acid

The Bowery was hosting their Oktoberfest last week and we headed down last Friday to check it out. It was a night jam packed with bands, six in fact each as vibrant as the next. With nice picnic tables outside, flashy lighting on stage and tasty nibbles from Farmer Browns everything was on hand for an enjoyable night.

Free Sunshine Acid kick started the show. Their psychedelic rock swirling and entwining with blissful hypnotic delusion. The four-piece blasted out a set brimming with jams, it was organic raw and refined. They perform with such fluidity, they are a well-oiled machine each in synch with one another producing euphoric wobbly psychedelic rock. The guitars shrill with thrilling distortion while punchy drums keep a constant beat, giving something to hold onto so you don’t fully lose yourself in their mirage of liquid flexible melodies.  Their sound is 60’s psychedelic rock wavy, shimmy ready and utterly trippy. Their stance simple, they are jamming together and we are fortunate enough to watch. ‘Carbon’ ‘Rays of The Sun’ And ‘Night Of The Lizards’ erupt with narcotic fluctuant soundwaves twisting and weaving between mosh ready pounding drums. Their catchy melodies and croony vocals with lush harmonies add a dreamy haze and radiate a euphoric atmosphere through the venue. It’s well trippy.

 EHCO follow with the ominous dark eerie ‘FIA’. A thick sticky beat slaps against swirling chilling electronics. These guys build their tracks layer by layer right up until they become full-fledged dance almost disco anthems. The beats are chunky and infectious with two drummers belting them out it’s instantly body grooving. The crowd sway and bop to their contagious sound. Rich rhythms thump and pop while swirling danceable soundscapes wisp around, it’s quite entrancing. ‘Bodies’ introduces  Jessica Lord’s vocals. Her vocals are powerful and compelling as she stands waving her arms in a floaty motion adding to the aerial breezy vibe. The crowd dance and swoosh enraptured in the gluey beat and airy soundscapes while the purple lighting aptly adds a mystical bewitching atmosphere to their set. The crowd were engulfed in their set shouting “EHCO! EHCO!” before the track ‘Eiclipse’. They deliver a full rich set mesmerising and hypnotic as well as insanely dance dominated. It’s the kind of music you could dance until you drop to.

 Accidents in the Workplace begin their set as an audience member shouts “play Wonderwall” so they decide to introduce their first track as Wonderwall. With a triumphant brass section, keyboard, guitars and a violin it’s a packed stage. Vocalist Lauren Murphy stands in front, her red hair luminous in the lighting, she is a flamboyant front woman. Her powerful vocals knock you for six while the enthusiastic facial expressions and dazzling dance moves are captivating. She swishes, hops, jumps and does the body snake all while hitting some mighty notes. With witty jokes between songs they test the crowd for Germans “any Germans in the house say woohoo”. It’s a lively animated set with rich instrumentation and colourful vivid melodies creating a massive sound. ‘Late nights’ the anthemic full bodied track follows a brief bit of banter about the free pretzels available at the bar. With rich textures and warm brass injections between catchy melodies and electrifying soundscapes not to mention Murphy’s powerful vocals they packed a lot into their tireless dynamic set.

Mik Pyro & The Shogunz Of Stank cruise in with their funky flavoured bluesy rock. It’s all swagger driven cool grooves and shredding slick guitar lines. Sensual licks and steamy hip swaying tempos these guys have the crowd gyrating and going wild in no time. With a jazzy keyboard and an enthusiastic bassist, it’s a pretty slick sight. Naturally they build their sound becoming more ear blasting and frantic as their set progresses, getting the crowd riled up and frenzied. Their rendition of Funkadelic’s  ‘Get Off Your Ass and Jam’ brings us right down to funky town. That “Shit! Goddamn! Get off yo’ ass and jam!” lyric will now forever be in my head. The audience go nuts some on their knees doing air guitar to the shredding solo. A slicked back version of Sly & The Family Stone’s ‘Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) ’ oozes swagger and strut quality it’s fluid, vaporous and drenched in panache. It’s a swanky flaunting set exuding sensual tones and intricate instrumental flamboyance and sass. They had the crowd in the palm of their hands.

Meltybrains? follow next. Wow words can hardly describe their set, it’s not for the faint-hearted. The lights go down and the crowd pack to the front, creepy masks on their heads they await the entrance of the five piece. They appear on stage all in white with masks on their heads to massive cheers. Their set is intense and spine chilling Donnacha looks like an evil surgeon serious and sinister he taps the keys in an eerie theatrical manner, while Brian across from him appears to be having spasms. The blue lighting with dry ice blasts create a menacing smoky backdrop to what we are about to witness. The crowd begin to sway and bounce to their unique sound. There are a few at first in the crowd that seem shocked by the wailing and screeching obscure sound they hear but when I look at them later they are completely mesmerised, joining in with the mass adoration. The band throw out more masks for anyone without one and the crowd fight over them, its chaotic. These guys drive the crowd wild with their music, it seems to bring out an animalistic character in each of them as they itch for more. It’s a sight to see when nearly everyone is either wearing a mask on their face or the back of their head it’s like you are being watched everywhere you turn. The band enjoy themselves throwing everything they have into their performance. The crowd shout for the track ‘The Vine’ the band graciously grant their request. The room erupts singing along and dancing to its jungle like beat. Drummer Micheál begins to climb up to the ceiling before resting on the pillar above while the others dance about the stage. This sets the crowd alight. They cheer for him like he is a hero as he climbs back down to the stage. Brian swings from the sails and ropes above the stage, the band go all out monkey and so do the audience, its insane. There is a particular dance to this track and all the audience join in like their minds are in synch with the band, maybe they are through hypnotic waves or something, but it’s a mind boggling spectacle for sure. The band request the audience to all kneel on the floor and they obey in a flash just to spring up in a mad frenzy of jumping. The audience worship them and idolise their spontaneous madness. So much so they give them a hero’s cheer as they line up to leave the stage. It was crazy, a bit unorthodox and immensely energetic. The crowd appeared lost without them when they left. Meltybrains? set was a unique experience for sure.

Circus VIII take to the stage the final act of the night and they brought the after party with them. Their Dublin debut, and boy was it incredible. Kicking off with ‘All Of Jason’s Beans’ they grooved and funked their way in style. Chantal Brown’s vocals, outstanding and powerful and Charley Taverner full of passion and soul. It’s charismatic explosive and oh so funky. With vibrant saxophone played by Toby Stewart, Bryan Corbett on Trumpet and Edu Bisogno on Keys, they blew us away. David D’Andrade is one of the most striking guitarists I’ve seen, imagine Jack Black with a hint of Meat Loaf theatrics teamed with slick guitar poses and swagger soaked spirited solos. Their sound is so full and bursting with life and dynamism it’s a rush of tantalizing soundscapes. Dramatic stops and starts they bring a fresh new thirst quenching sound to the Bowery audience. The crowd yell “yeah!” as they dance uncontrollably to their infectious groove. Jason Tebble’s slick bass adds a funky sensual elastic buoyancy to the tracks while Jon Harris’ drumming keeps a punchy foundation for Tebble to rebound off. With more energy than a bolt of lightning these guys blaze through their tracks oozing swagger leaving nothing but burn marks behind. ‘Sunshine’ is an absolute gem each note radiated golden vibes. Their set is playful vibrant and fun. Their sound immensely rich it’s honey to the ears, so jam packed with luscious melodies and intricate compositions all weaving together to create a blissful experience. These guys exude so much energy it pounds through you and lifts your spirit, it’s hard not to dance. The crowd loved every minute of it, one guy went to the edge of the stage to bow down in worship of the band another shouted while they were deciding what song to play next “just play some bass”. In their live set these guys exude slick panache and style with a flamboyant disco vibe blended with their funky rock, they are just too cool. Though their set was cut short it was pretty extraordinary.

All round Friday Night in Oktoberfest was phenomenal each band brought their own unique twist to the night some more obscure than others but it made for an amazing night. Definitely make sure to check it out next year there is something for everyone. So all that’s left to say is … do the vine (Meltybrains? quote).

 

 

 


Sideline Fire ‘Outside’ Single Launch with Support From Chinese Newspaper in Whelan’s Dublin

We were invited to check out Sideline Fire’s single launch in Whelan’s last Thursday night with support from  Chinese Newspaper. Eager fans watched the soundcheck in anticipation for the show to come. It’s an audience of mostly youngsters keeping the live music scene alive.

Chinese Newspaper take to the stage, shoes are off and they are ready to go. Blasting straight into their indie flavoured garage rock. Their groovy attitude driven tracks are perfect for a shimmy and mosh all at once. They coax the crowd to dance and move “We are here for your enjoyment”. Showing off their moodier grungier side ‘It Follows’ gets the crowd moshing and going wild. The guys have a cool nonchalant stage presence as they pierce with shrilling distortion on guitar and throttling drums over agonising expressive vocals. “Scream if you love hash” guitarist and vocalist  Killian Barrett shouts at the crowd as they go nuts. The band sing happy birthday to a member of the crowd urging everyone to buy him a drink. A cover of Pixies  ‘Where Is My Mind‘ follows causing a manic mosh frenzy among the crowd, as the birthday boy crowd surfs victoriously. The band bellow out a pretty slick rendition of the track to yelps and whoops from the audience. From here on out it’s absolute anarchy there is no controlling the crowd as they become consumed with the blasting tracks. ‘If Not Now Then When?’ finishes off their set soaked in sunny golden guitar lines, thumping drums and swagger infused vocals. It’s a pretty smooth rough and tumble burst of indie rock. The verses glide and groove with effortless sun kissed slickness while the chorus explodes with forceful mighty garage rock. It’s a fiery blustery set from Chinese Newspaper, a band to definitely keep an eye out for.

Following a lengthy wait for drummer Eric Walsh’s diva entrance. Sideline Fire begin their set after mocking him a little. They are a playful cheeky bunch, their show is light, fun and carefree with humorous banter throughout. Sound wise it’s a tight slick display. They wear their influences on their sleeves. These guys are starting out so it’s a little rough around the edges at times but they show real promise. The crowd dance and sing along from the start to their catchy pop melodies smothered in punchy indie rock, it’s a crowd-pleasing combination. Their original songs are well layered and balanced – rich danceable rhythms teamed with tight crashing guitars, some pretty slick solos and catchy melodies. ‘I Don’t Wanna Go’ fleshes out their Catfish and The Bottlemen influence a little. Actually, we see a lot of Catfish and The Bottlemen covers (which the crowd went wild for) so that’s no surprise. The band waste no time in getting the crowd engaged, guitarist John Fitzgerald throws band stickers into the crowd after their rendition of Arctic Monkeys ‘Brianstorm’. This gets the audience rowdy and savage, the band know what their audience like and they deliver it. Each original track displays a subtle growth in the band’s sound ‘No Patience’ showcasing a darker croony side to their catchy bubbly indie rock. They take the opportunity to display their versatility as a band as well as entertain. A few your mother jokes and a lot of crowd surfing later and we come close to the track everyone is here for, but before that a feisty rendition of Royal Blood’s ‘Figure It Out’ which holds a lot of excitement both in mishaps and crowd interaction. Vocalist Andrew Berry’s guitar strap breaks during the song, fortunately bassist Evan Butler’s mother comes to his aid like a ninja and fixes it. The crowd hardly notice, they are busy moshing jumping and going uncontrollably wild. Launch track. ‘Outside’ is announced to a mass of cheers and whoops as they belt out the indie banger. The band close the show on an unplanned cover of Arctic Monkeys ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’. The crowd go crazy shouting back the lyrics, it’s savage anarchy, practically everyone has a go at crowd surfing and there was no stopping them. They yell for one more song and the band oblige with the perhaps obvious choice Catfish and The Bottlemens’ ‘Kathleen’. What can I say the room erupted, a pretty explosive end to their show. The crowd were manic and pumped and this track just set them all off.

Young fresh Irish talent was oozing from Whelan’s last Thursday night and both these bands display promise and slick showmanship. Sideline Fire know their audience and they give them exactly what they want, a skill which will make them very popular in the future. A youthful exuberant show which is pretty impressive from this newly formed band.


Isaac Gracie With Support From Wildes at The Grand Social Dublin

Isaac Gracie’s debut Dublin show was on Tuesday night in The Grand Social Dublin with support from Wildes. We are big fans of Gracie so naturally there we were to see the magic happen in the flesh.

Wildes which is the performance name of Ella Walker walks timidly on stage picks up her guitar and begins to sing. The crowd swiftly stop their chatting and absorb this deeply touching performance. Her stance is simple as she delicately stands with just her guitar overwhelming us with the power, depth and rich emotion in her vocals. Beautiful melodies drowned in melancholic emotions run throughout her performance while her vocals express the rawness in such a crisp clear yet haunting manner. There is such silence during her set you could hear a pin drop as the audience are captivate by her voice and moving lyrics. She gingerly introduces her songs with a hint of nervousness that appears to disappear when she begins to sing. ‘Bare’ displays a sorrowful heart-breaking quality to her vocals. Walkers performance is an enchanting display of vulnerability and vocal fortitude. She dips into her lower register while the sweet guitar accompaniment dolefully mourns along. Her tracks display a sense of refinement and elegance with gorgeous melodies and a sway like wistfulness. Walker tells the crowd about her family from Waterford and her sister who went to Trinity bridging any gap between herself and the crowd. After each track the audience whoop and clap enjoying the sweet toned breath of fresh air her tracks tend to bring. She takes to the keyboard for the celestial ‘Illuminate’ “I always feel a bit sassy when I do this” she giggles before beginning an enthralling pure version of her track. Evoking a peaceful silence and longing throughout the room, it’s hair raising and captivating. She closes her set with the chilling and haunting ‘Ghost’ after trying to convince us she didn’t nick the name Wilds from Oscar Wild.

Isaac Gracie and his band take to the stage with a sweet shy little “hello” he thanks the audience for turning up to his first headline show in Dublin. ‘All In My Mind’ kicks off his set, the addition of a bassist and drummer add a bit of punch to his live set. One thing that becomes apparent is Gracie is fantastic live, his voice so clear with a sublime depth and maturity beyond his years. If you enjoy his tracks then live he will just blow you away. His drummer Alex is probably the most enthusiastic drummer I’ve seen in a long time from his facial expressions to every bounce and bop he oozes energy. Bassist Jamie is Gracie’s “guardian angel” running about the stage plugging in Gracie’s guitar and giving him little tips like talking through the tune up. Gracie’s musical poise is simple he lets his heart wrenching tunes speak for themselves his eyes drift into the meaning of the track and that is where the magic in the performance happens. It’s all in the emotion and melodies. One audience member is so taken with his set he shouts, “I Love You” Gracie reply’s “I love you too.. I hope you said I love you, I can’t really hear properly if you didn’t it’s ok I still love you” before the most beautiful rendition of ‘Silhouettes Of You’. The spellbound audience sway dumbfounded by the passion exuding from this shy young chap. The sorrow and despair flooding through every note and hitting you bang smack in the middle of your chest. It’s heart breaking and graceful. It’s my favourite track on the New EP and it was as tear jerking and tender if not more so than I expected. It’s the second show performing with his band and it’s a working progress as they stumble over blunders with the audience barely noticing. With a show like this all the hiccups and bashfulness makes it special it’s raw and fresh. ‘Running on Empty’ takes a different heavier persona with the band. Personally, I prefer the solitary version it’s more striking and personal however, with the band it takes on a danceable wiggle vibe. Gracie’s vocals still shine and the lyrics still pierce but it’s just a little more fun and less heart breaking. “The second guitar solo of my life” Gracie announces at the end of the track it feels like we’ve experienced a pillar moment for Gracie. Struggling to open his bear bottle he introduces the agonising ‘Terrified’. The band retire from the stage for the encore leaving just Gracie and his guitar for the affectionate ‘Last Words’. The maturely written tender track that made him an artist to watch. The audience sway and sing the lyrics along with Gracie, everyone’s heart breaking in that beautiful moment, his eyes closed, his brow creased with deep sorrow, we feel every emotion and painful quiver. The perfect way to end his set.

Gracie is like an unpolished diamond in the rough. The “Padwan rockstar’s” undeniable talent sparkles and glimmers as each and every track touches the soul of every person in the room creating a unique beautiful experience each time. The small flashes of goofiness and bashfulness just makes the show all the sweeter. His songs alone are refined and passionate he blends soft tender soundscapes with heavier reverb laden soundscapes seamlessly. With smokey delicate poetic lyrics and beautiful melodies simply portrayed it’s a magnificent experience. Go see him live you won’t regret it. And he is actually a nice guy, we met him after the show and he took a picture with our logo, sound chap.


All Them Witches with support from The Ghost Wolves in Whelan’s Dublin

We were invited to check out All Them Witches headline show in Whelan’s on Monday with support from The Ghost Wolves. With a live act said to be jam-filled, where no two shows are the same, we couldn’t refuse. Where there is big fuzz, deep grooves and kaleidoscopic mind bending psychedelic blues-rock I’m there.

Like a storm in a teacup The Ghost Wolves take to the stage. With a white wolf mask sitting on a mic stand watching and judging us all, they blast us straight into their ruckus causing rock and roll dripping in bluesy swagger. Carley with her cowboy hat and boots strides across the stage lean, mean and fiery she wails, shouts and bellows at the crowd who are enthralled ready to subdue to her every command. Together this duo are a well-oiled machine each track belting into the next while the crowd go wild moshing and jumping. The thrilling guitar fuzz and shrill teamed with adrenaline pumping drums gets the crowd warmed up screaming for more in no time. ”Do You Like Cry Babies?” Carley shouts at the crowd “nobody likes crybabies” is the fiesty introduction to the neck snapping ‘Crybabies Go Home’. The crowd roar the “whoohoohoo” lyrics back to her as she jumps about the stage. Elaborate guitar poses and all it’s purely captivating. Swagger is a tame word for these guys, they are wild and absolutely mental but it makes for a fascinating live set and the crowd were lapping it up. When you think it couldn’t get better she introduces the one string wonder “because all you need is one god damn string” that’s right a guitar with one string that plays just as mighty and meaty as a six string makes you wonder why anyone plays guitar normally. This duo are cool and feisty and boy do they put on a live show.

All Them Witches stroll on stage following the crowds sing along to Black Sabbath‘s ‘War Pigs’. Drummer Robby Staebler is in nothing but fluorescent yellow shorts. On a chilly October night, I can only assume he planned to work up a sweat. Pretty slick and cool they compose themselves and smash straight into their sweet blissful wobbly psychedelia. With our minds all melted and dazed by their instrumental intro they belt out ‘When God Comes Back’ the crowd erupt bellowing the lyrics back full of expression. They throw themselves into the tracks yelping and wooing after each song. Vocalist and guitarist Charles Michael Parks in a timid deep voice thanks the crowd for coming and tells them the band almost didn’t make it over. His advice for the night “do whatever you want, be yourself, have fun and don’t hurt no body”. The set becomes extremely manic as the crowd grow more and more hysterical by each track the four-piece play, one guy bows at Parks’ feet in worship of him. Frenzied moshing consumes the entire center floor as people get pushed around some onto the stage only to bounce back up to jump, dance and mosh again. All while All Them Witches maintain a cool suave on stage just jamming through the bluesy psychedelic tunes. Live these guys are awesome, the sound so thrilling and mind liquefying yet hefty and monstrous. ‘Charlies William’ once again is met with screams whoops and yelps from the crowd. They are so into it I think even All Them Witches seem surprised. Their Irish fans are insanely enthusiastic changing the room into a moshing slaughter house, while still having respect for the others around them. ‘Bulls’ and Alabaster’ brings a surge of exhilaration over the crowd as they adoringly chant the lyrics back with an overflow of joy, it’s like they are at an altar, wildly worshiping. They beg the band to stay when Parks announces their last few songs but he soothingly insists he can’t.

After screams, whistles and shouts for “one more tune” the band return to the stage for a ferocious rendition of ‘Swallowed By The Sea’. The crowd explode in a rapture of moshing and dancing Parks ventures off stage to join them in this wild frenzy –  much to the crowd’s surprise and delight they swarm around him so much he almost has to crawl back on stage to finish the track lying down. It was Epic, raw and spontaneous and therefore perfect.

The Americans brought a bluesy soaked cyclone into Whelan’s on a quiet Monday night and it was legendary.


Ape Rising Album Launch with special guests Bicurious & Slouch at The Bowery Dublin

If you are looking for music “you can send men into space to” then Friday night in The Bowery was the place for you. It was Ape Risings’s debut album launch and the five piece were raring to go, ready to blast the ears of the crowd with their unique blend of fiery retro spacey flavoured alternative rock.

Dublin trio Slouch kicked off the night with their raw ruckus sound. Feisty and meaty the tracks are heavy powerful and kick ass. Moody, grungy with a shout and growl here and there teamed with pulverising drums, sharp shredding guitar lines and rumbling prominent bass it’s an impress heavy mosh worthy set. With slick Queens Of The Stone Age- esque wails and sulky melodies backed by shattering instrumentation these guys pack a serious bruising punch. With a simple stance on stage they let their music speak for itself.

Instrumental and experimental duo Bicurious follow with an energetic set of infectious smooth grooves smothered with sweet guitar melodies and hefty doses of mosh ready heaviness. On stage guitarist Taran, who according to himself (jokingly) “turns into an asshole on stage” bounces jumps and bops around. Hair flying everywhere he urges the crowd to move closer to the stage and join in. Their tracks fluctuate between pounding head banding to sweet melodic sways and everything in-between seamlessly. Each track coils, twists, hops and grooves with sharp stinging guitar injections throughout creating a wholly unique experience. The melodies are so rich and lushly textured you can get lost in their set, forgetting the absence of a vocalist and lyrics they still mange to hold your attention. This duo have honed in on their style and perfected it meticulously. From the funky doused new track ‘Sleep’ to the crowd pleaser ‘Sugar Beats’ they deliver a satisfying set that has the crowd in a mad frenzy of dancing wiggling and moshing. These guys have an infectious refined sound all of their own and it’s pretty impressive.

Ape Rising take to the stage. ‘In Their Masses’ begins their set, full sounding with retro wobbly synths, punchy drums, elastic bass and crashing guitars it’s an anthemic start. The tracks fluidly follow each other with little banter between. This five piece belt out their dance alternative rock with ease. The flickering synths add that alien whine and obscurity to the tracks that set Ape Rising apart from the other bands out there. Energetic and passionate the lads pour their entire body and soul into their live set with Johno and Jimmy stopping to wipe their brows with a towel, it’s a sweaty spectacle. With songs about PlayStation games (Space Odyssey), Pac-Man and Fatal Deviation (an Irish martial arts movie) set to dance fuelled mosh ready punchy music with quirky synths it’s a fresh aerial experience. ‘Divide’ slows the tempo, introduced as the track for the “shift… to go in for the strike”. It’s sway-like with sweet harmonies and escalating synths. The five-piece put on a vigorous and spirited show packed with catchy tunes explosive crescendos and humorous banter with a sound that’s unique to them. It’s impossible not to be drawn into the band’s hypnotic whirlpool-world of spacey rock. It’s definitely worth checking them out live.

New Valley Wolves played the after party which though I had an early start the next day I had to stick around for. These guys are just too cool, too slick and fierce and their sound is unbelievable. Professional to the core and oozing fiery shit-hot power this supreme duo are the Dublin kings of rock and roll. Bluesy soaked and mighty, smothered in brawny basslines and skull bashing drums their tunes were crafted in the fiery depths of hell and polished by the devil. Too good for our mere mortal ears. An Epic end to an amazing night.