Category Archives: Live Music

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.

 

 


Sun Mahshene with support from The Thrash Blues and Stitch Jones at Sin É Dublin

First Thursday of the month that means The New Love & Terror Cult are hosting an event in Sin É Dublin. Who’s playing?… Sun Mahshene with support from The Thrash Blues and Stitch Jones. Nice cosy venue, comfy seats, electric atmosphere and Red Hot Chili Peppers playing in the background it’s a good start.

The Thrash Blues kicked the night off with their blend of bluesy rock and roll. There’s no messing around with this duo once the “one two” mic check is over they blast straight into their set with ‘Wicked Man’. No banter just solid hip shaking riff driven rock and roll. Displaying a strong set with some heavy pounding drum elements and slick guitar manoeuvres they perform a raw gritty set. Tracks like ‘Rambler’ which took a more rapid grittier persona on the night compared to the recorded version added a country twang and whiskey soaked roughness to their set. What you see seems to be what you get with these two. There is no flouncing about it’s straight to business all about the tunes and there is no doubt these guys can play Liz is like a beast on the drums and Ro’s simple stance lets his guitar skills speak for themselves. It’s a head bopping neat set from The Thrash Blues.

Ah yes enter Led Zeppelin no sorry Ched Zeppelin oh it’s Stitch Jones the cheeky chappies that seem to be everywhere lately. What can I say about these guys that I haven’t said before. There is a new addition to the band Minty Watchorn the new slick bass possessed by Mr. Watchy. ‘Nothing War’ kicks off the set soaked in a heavy meaty bassline and pounding drums raising the energy in the room. Live these guys are getting better and better.  With a plethora of banter and stage presence they engage the crowd like only Stitch Jones can from LCD Soundsystem tickets and life lessons to getting dumped in Sin É and being friend-zoned by a Brazilian girl, the Casserole Casanovas are never stuck for something to say. Their heavy pounding brain bleeding sound makes for a great show with songs that stick in your head. At breakfast, the next day someone mentioned a full Irish and all I could think of was the lads shouting “All of which is an Irish breakfast”.  The duo finish their set with an unforgettable version of Queen’s ‘I Want To Break Free’.

The Indie, Psychedelic, Dream Rock band Sun Mahshene take to the stage. The live line up on the night Nathan Henderson (Guitars, Vocals), Ian McGinn (guitars), Ryan Daffy (guitar, backing vocals), Darren Hughes (bass), David Murray (drums) and Ray Burke (Percussion, backing vocals with the help of Edward Ãspel at times -a speed demon on tambourine). The lads cramped on the stage, begin their blissfully divine set. It becomes fast apparent these guys have something amazing the melodies are liquid gold, honey drizzled and euphoric backed by a mirage of hallucinogenic mind-bending soundscapes. Henderson’s sweet vocals are velvety smooth and soothing lulling you safely into the swirling abyss of their sound. The shrilling sharp guitar stings with hypnotic wah wah and distortion it’s absolutely mind melting. The sound is crisp raw yet refined while also placing you in a trance-like opiate state of ecstasy. They exude an effortless cool laid-back swagger and charm without even trying. Live these guys are simply amazing they don’t need much space they don’t need to move around. The floppy narcotic tunes dig deep with nostalgic melodies and interweaving guitars the sound is just sublime. From the groovy, elastic ‘Shine Your Light’ to the 90’s tinged sweet ‘Love Jam’ their tracks ooze a sense of longing and yearning. There is a subtle heft and weight droning throughout even in the most weightless and floaty moments this makes for a fantastic wholly enthralling live experience. Everything else disappears it’s just you and the blissful captivating sound that is Sun Mahshene. Finishing their set with the attention grabbing ‘When the Bomb Drops’ they hold the attention of the room. The audience members move forward to the stage to mosh as the 10 minute track concludes with a exploding instrumental. Symbols in the air they raised the roof. These guys are a must see live and have fast become one of my favourite bands.


Leftover Crack and All Torn Up with support from The Dubtones, DEATHBUS and The Divils At The Bowery Dublin

Last  Saturday night I headed down to The Bowery Dublin to what I can honestly say was the most brutal savage show I have been to so far. U.S.A Punk giants Leftover Crack were headlining along with All Torn Up with support from The Dubtones, DEATHBUS and The Divils. I knew it was going to be crazy but this was insane. Firstly, a venue that looks like the inside of a ship…. epic idea, the stage was the bow, canons around the walls lanterns above your head and wood décor you couldn’t ask for a better venue. Feeling like a shifty pirate from Pirates Of The Caribbean I settled in nicely.

Dubliners The Divils warmed up the crowd with a reggae hint to their punk rock. Light and bouncy they have the crowd bopping to their tropical toned guitar riffs and moshing to the punkier tunes. They brought a danceable fun atmosphere with humorous banter and solid energetic catchy tracks. Each track takes a heavy aggressive turn adding a bit of grit to the set and giving the crowd something to mosh to. Acting as the calm before the storm they deceive us with sunny holiday vibes. That is until DEATHBUS swarm in playing “some really stupid music really f***ing fast”. It’s a fierce growling set of heavy ear bleeding metal. What the lyrics are I couldn’t tell you, but it set the crowd alight in an insane fury of headbanging. There was hair swishing everywhere one guy was so entranced and heavily moshing I thought he was going to bash his head off the stage. Shrilling guitars with a neck snapping speed their set was brutal, blood thirsty and adrenaline pumping lunacy. The Dubtones follow with an equally energetic but less slaughterous set. With rock and roll hints and groovy rhythm they bring back a taste of the boppy bubbly vibes causing a wiggle-like mosh dance among the crowd.Cracking pirate ship jokes and all “cos we arrr!” it’s an entertaining set. Brassy NYC punk band All Torn Up follow. Interacting directly with the crowd frontman Joey Steel jumps into the audience to mosh along with them before preaching about the wretched world and “backward pieces of sh*t”. His sweat flicking everywhere as the crowd laps up his enthusiasm. These guys have a demanding stage presence and relentless stamina as they jump shout and swear with compelling endurance. It’s a slick brisk set bursting with fiery attitude. The audience erupt into spasms of madness. Jumping pushing headbanging and just plain going crazy. Each track is a battering assault to the senses but an invigorating experience for sure. Punk mammoths Leftover Crack take over the stage like a kraken. With literally a bruising set, crowd members are bashing into each other throwing one another to the floor. There is a strange sense of  comradery amongst these heavy moshers once they fall down they get picked up to be bashed to the floor again. Their rapturous set drives the crowd wild. These guys provide one of the most involving satisfying raw live sets I’ve experienced. They are musically airtight and enraged with brutally efficient riffs, pummeling drums and dynamic vocals that alternate between raspy roars and croons. Unfortunately much to my frustration my battery died before their set so I couldn’t take any pictures, but these guys are larger than life and put on a fantastic show.

It was a night of beards,badges and denim with pulverizing music to batter your eardrums and slick grooves. Don’t you just love it when a bunch of fierce throttling mighty bands get together and put on a thrilling show- vocal growls, head-splitting tunes, sweat and all. Unforgettable.

 


Vulpynes ‘Silica’ Single launch at The Workman’s Club With Support From Jon Dots and Stitch Jones

Over the past year Vulpynes have been making a name for themselves both here and abroad. Only less than a year old the duo have gained a lot of support for their singles ‘Terry Said’ and ‘OCD’ and are developing a name for themselves for their no nonsense ruckus live performances. They have released their new single ‘Silica’ with an accompanying video on the 21st of July and they celebrated the launch with a gig at The Workman’s Club last Saturday. Having seen the girls live earlier in the year supporting Fangclub we were happy to accept an invitation to check out their headline show.
Singer songwriter Jon Dots, the alter ego of the solo music making wizard Darragh McCabe (also the drummer of alt-punk band Alien She)  kicks of the night. Opening his set with the bright texture-warping ‘One Fine Day’. McCabe stands on stage humble with a guitar and laptop then unexpectedly this luscious rich sound comes from the stage filling the room with his unique fantastically layered indie pop with cinematic bursts, echos and divine melodies. Using distortion shrills,electronic smacks and loops teamed with his powerful vocals he’s completely captivating. His knack for melody and composition is remarkable every fragment of each song is euphoric and intricately rich and McCabe performs with such intensity it’s extremely thrilling, imagine Børns only more raw,edgy and dark. He lets the music speak for itself with little to no speech between the songs.It’s quite the engulfing performance that holds everyone’s attention even the usually awkward guitar retuning is met by absolute silence I’ve never seen a crowd so quiet as they await the treasures McCabe will play next. When you think he surely cannot top that fantastic set…  he does beautifully and simply with the sweetest delicate and elegant ‘Always You’. The sway-like candied doo wop gentle track is heartmeltingly tender and emotional. Passionately performed the melty melody and dreamy exterior of this track is just irresistible and softly sweet. Building to an intense expressive heart felt crescendo and ending on a light creamy note it’s a beautiful way to end his set.
The Dynamic Duo Stitch Jones follow. These guys seem to be everywhere at the moment. ‘Nothing War’ blasts us straight into their ruckus causing set. With a touch of technical difficulties they sing and play through the blunder in true rock and roll manner. Since the last time we saw them which was….. the week before, the lads are in top form evil laughs and all, (Tinder date went well I was told) and songs are heavy and skull bashing as always. The tunes, heavy riffs and bruising drums blast through the amps while the vibrations cause our drinks to move along the table. That’s an insane reaction to their tracks it’s so good even our drinks want to dance. They bellow out a nice little sample of George Michael’s ‘Outside’ before exploding into ‘Groove Mission’. These guys are packed with energy and fun vibes with humorous banter from a ZZ Top rip off beat to beards while still belting out powerful neck snapping tunes. They close their set with ‘Hold Me Klausly’ their self described “steady stain of manure” truly a blustering mostly instrumental wallop of pulverising drums and crunching bass.The crescendo of the track is the squealing shrilling finale where Watchy drops his bass on the floor before saying “look after each other”. Check them out on “Bebo and Myspace”
Vulpynes take to the stage with a “one two, one two” mic check before a feedback shrill. “ok lets do this” and we are off dirty, gritty riffs play over crowd screams and pummelling drums. The timid duo began with sweet nervous introductions and then kick you in the face with their no nonsense hard core rock. The energy levels from the crowd immediately peak they draw closer to the stage and bop and begin to mosh manically. Maeve keeps movement minimal focusing on delivering a high powered dynamic set while Kaz batters the drums with tireless vitality. The heavy instrumentation vibrates through and compels the crowd to move. For a band barely a year old the sound is weighty and overruling. Each track belts out relentless aggressive stamina. Even the “slow song for if your feeling romantic” is a deception thankfully these girls do hefty rock well and for the moment that’s what they stick to. ‘Terry Said’ sparks immediate applause and screams clearly a fan favourite the duo strike out a knocking performance of the fierce track. Launch single ‘Silica’ results in heavy moshing and jumping Maeve’s vocals are harsher and meaner for this track as its feistier and frantic. ‘OCD’ closes their set, accelerated and hard core, it’s an explosive way to end their show. The duo walk of stage to screaming fans for “one more song” while the new video for ‘Silica’ plays on the backdrop behind.
Vulpynes kicked ass. In their first year they have achieved so much with their bloodthirsty ear bleeding tunes and blasting live sets. These girls deserve to go far.

 


Bicurious ‘T.O.I’ Single Launch Upstairs in Whelan’s With Support From Mike Paterson and Rabble Babble

When you think of an instrumental band you probably think lengthy songs and a tedious set without lyrics, vocals or a swagger soaked larger than life frontman/ woman to engross you. Well this was not the case last Friday night. Dublin instrumental and experimental duo Bicurious were holding their ‘T.O.I’, single launch upstairs in Whelan’s (where the proceeds from the ticket sales went to the Dublin Simon Community). They invited us along to check it out and boy was it explosive.
Indie Folk Singer Songwriter Mike Paterson kicked off the night, originally the frontman of the rock group Travis Oaks, Paterson’s solo work takes a different approach to the gritty anthemic bluesy tinged sound we are used to hearing from the band Travis Oaks. Establishing himself as a solo artist he has peeled back his sound focusing on creating and crafting simple vocal melody driven tunes. He still packs all the punches, just with a more refined emotive approach. Timidly he takes to the stage for his first gig in Dublin as a solo artist. ‘Outside Lines’ introduces his soulful passionate sound, it’s simple emotive and raw displaying Paterson’s crisp vocals and sharp falsetto range. There’s something to be said for a solo performer especially when they can grab your attention and draw you into their performance with ease and Paterson does this perfectly. His songs speak for themselves from warm country bouncy tunes to edgy indie folk melodies. He performs a diverse, striking yet beautifully simple set. Bantering through the slightly awkward guitar retuning , he is unfazed and relaxed. A refreshing refined stripped back set that makes Paterson stand out as a performer.
Rabble Babble begin their set with a groovy instrumental vibe while vocalist Molly Callan Cassidy warms up with lunges and stretches. They deliver a set drenched in blissful wobbly guitar and slick elastic bass backed by buoyant steady drums. Kicking off their set with a cruising almost jazz and blues club cover of The Velvet Underground’s ‘I’m Waiting for The Man’ with a tropical wavy guitar feature and powerful expressive vocals. Theses guys are slick and gloriously eccentric with random jingles mixed with intense soulful passion and swagger infused attitude. With shimmy ready tunes, chilled back vibes and narrative lyrics their set is a quirky mixed bag. New single Joe’s Bust’ goes down well with the crowd as they bounce and bop to the groovy rhythm while psychedelic whine on guitar adds a hazy trippy glaze over the expressive punchy track. These guys are an experience for sure.
Bicurious take to the stage and waste no time in blasting the crowd with their mosh ready heavy tunes drizzled with sweet luscious guitar melodies. They constantly shake things up showing off some really proficient and nimble guitar skills while packing in a decent spray of showmanship. Taran Plouzané-Brady jumps, moshes and strides across the stage making the most of the space. Swift slick pedal manoeuvres are effortlessly managed with agility and finesse while Gavin Purcell acutely belts those drums with fierce relentless stamina. From the thrilling ‘Fake News’ to the slick swagger soaked ‘Caged’ the set is brimming with altering grooves, meaty punches and sweet elevator-like jingles thrown into the mix to break up the sticky hot messy mosh. These guys like to keep the crowd on their toes. When the tune is heavy, oh boy, it is skull pounding mania and when it’s light and sweet, its the most blissful toned deliciously honeyed melody you can imagine. All this is mixed and blended meticulously to create the most thrilling live experience possible. Plouzané-Brady plays the role of frontman with ease, keeps banter to a minimum but interacts with the crowd by moshing and playing amongst them. With stage hands at the ready like ninjas (nod to Oisín Wolfe) any little hiccup is swiftly dealt with instantly. ‘Sugar Beats’ brings a clap along feature for the now tightly squished to the front crowd as they mosh manically. Hair everywhere and pints spilling it’s a feverish manic chaos. The crowd lift Plouzané-Brady above their heads like a hero as he plays horizontal in a triumphant wobbly crowd surf. New single ‘T.O.I’ is the final song on the Bicurious set, another staggering powerhouse and floor shaking mosh ready track with gentle melodic interludes. The crowd cheerfully “whoo” in time with this mighty euphoric track while the duo blast us with relentless energy and intensity.
A surprise at the end of the show (which unfortunately for a certain hopeful member of the crowd was not cake) the duo invite Mike Paterson back on stage along with Aran Mcgillick (Bass Player in Travis Oaks) and Josh McClorey (guitarist in The Strypes) for a stellar rendition of Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’. With Paterson on vocals flicking and swooshing hair everywhere in true rock and roll manner and Mcgillick standing on Purcell’s drums, its all roaring male guitar testosterone. A fiery way to end a fantastic night. Bicurious are a talented duo and they excel beyond belief in a raw live setting.

 


Crow Black Chicken and New Valley Wolves with support from Scally and Stitch Jones at The Workman’s Club Dublin

I was invited to The Workman’s Club last Friday night to see Crow Black Chicken and New Valley Wolves with support from Scally and Stitch Jones.The Workman’s Club is one of my favourite venues so naturally I didn’t refuse. Whiskey in hand I settled down to what promised to be one heck of a show.
Punk rock duo Stitch Jones kicked things off with the resounding rumbling neck snapping frenzy of ‘Beast In The Field’. Dedicating their set to their recently deceased friend Cal Grimes (who wanted to do a hip-hop album, with the lads as the backing musicians called “Space Jones”) they put on an entertaining show of witty remarks and mighty punk rock. The mischievous two piece banter between tracks about tinder dates ( hope it went well for you Watchy),voices in their heads and the wise words “smoke weed except on Wednesday”. The gritty ‘Old Public Firearm’ and lengthy robust  ‘Hold Me Klausly’ showcases their versatility as musicians. The accelerated ‘Innocent Wilson’ finishes their energetic ear popping set with pounding drums and rowdy basslines, These guys do loud rebellious tunes that scream attitude with bruising punk punches while cracking a smile. They are a really entertaining band to watch.
Scally follows. This guy has more energy than a Duracell Bunny on speed. With an Anthony Kiedis- esque persona and a swagger laden ballsy ego he strides in on a tidal wave of boisterous rock n’ roll bravado. His band The Dirty Rats are a slick bunch of lads bringing intricate suave licks and flicks, elastic grooves and body pounding drums. These guys are serious musicians that ooze finesse. Prancing around with a bottle of liquor in hand Scally embodies everything you can imagine when you think of rock n’ roll – sunglasses, attitude and panache. With catchy tracks and such a tight band behind him it’s an entertaining show brimming with insane energy. I was told before the gig  to “watch out for Scally-he’s such a front-man” and for sure he was. I definitely would recommend seeing these guys live.
Scally introduces Dublin’s fiercest rock duo New Valley Wolves. They kick off their savage set with ‘Fire In The Blood’. This set is full of dirty gritty riffs, pummelling drums and the thrilling raw sound that is New Valley Wolves. The enthusiastic crowd howl as Jonny Lucey announces “we are New Valley Wolves” before belting into another pure aggressive rock track. ‘Silver Tongue’ ‘Animal’ and ‘Shake Your Bones’ set the frenzied audience alight. These guys have established themselves as a straight up blood and sweat rock band. ‘Gospel’ has members of the audience bowing in worship, in awe of their magnificence and blood thirsty skull bashing sound. New Valley Wolves deliver a vicious raging set that fills you with a riveting pounding sound that compels you to mosh along in a delirious frenzy. They finish their powerhouse set with the rip-roaring single ‘Trouble’ . These guys never disappoint, always delivering a crushing performance.
The bluesy rock’n roll Crow Black Chicken follow with a hour and a half set of sweet southern twangs and rich accelerated rhythms that will rattle your bones. These guys groove and bop with swagger soaked  euphoric shrills on guitar-  it’s a shaking dancing riot. With bassist Steven McGrath stroking the fretboard of his guitar with a pint these guys have the crowd in the palm of their hand. Audience members do a wiggle flap flap dance while adding the odd chicken neck forward and back movement in there as well. With clap along friendly tracks and humorous banter from Christy O’Hanlon about 1 channel T.V.’s back in 1978 and Kool Aid drinks these guys go down a treat with the crowd. The audience shout for one more song and the trio oblige giving us one last shredding bluesy soaked rock n roll track to send us on our way.

Crow Black Chicken,New Valley Wolves, Scally and Stitch Jones are four bands you really need to see live, flying the flag for no nonsense ballsy rock and roll, all taking it to different levels and directions but delivering on top quality tunes.