Tag Archives: Live Show Review

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.

The Strypes ‘Spitting Image’ album launch at The Thomas House, Dublin With Support From David Keenan

I was invited to head down to The Strypes ‘Spitting Image’ album launch at The Thomas House, Dublin. The four piece seemed dedicated to include all ages of their fans in the celebrations by performing an under 18s show beforehand giving their younger demographic a chance to enjoy their live show. We sat outside the room listening to The Strypes put on a wild performance for the screaming young fans claustrophobically jammed into the room. I thought surely they can’t maintain this energy and vitality for two shows in a row.
The door opened to the second round of fans as they packed into the room tightly like sardines in a tin I could feel the temperature rise and the oxygen being stolen from me with each breath, it was going to get sticky and warm very fast. David Keenan kicks off the show warming up the crowd with his powerful emotional vocals and lyrics that cut deep.With just his guitar for accompaniment he glides from soft lulls to sharp potent wails while the audience sway gently. Belting out tracks like ‘Cobwebs’ and ‘The Good Old Days’ with a lilting twang and traditional Irish influence. His strong weighty lyrics and knack for story telling is perhaps wasted on the eager young faces but never the less undoubtedly striking and in the moment compelling. Keenan calls Harry Hoban on stage to accompany him for his final track to play keys adding an elegant graceful tone to his set. Keenan’s performance seems almost personal, it’s a man on a stage telling you his life story without flashy effects, it’s simple and raw.

The crowd push forward as they wait restlessly for The Strypes with Miles Kane blasting through the speakers to keep them entertained. A mixed bunch in the audience, The Strypes seem to hold a following of all ages. One man I spoke to who was there with his daughter loved the boys just as much as she did and had seen them many times before. These were hard core fans who knew every detail, every strand of hair on the lads heads.

The four piece take to the stage triumphantly and blast straight into some new tunes from the new album starting with ‘Behind Closed Doors’. Filled with a Californian vibe and exploding with electric energy one thing I noticed from the start, this album is definitely a game changer. The performance is slick punchy and mighty, the crowd erupt jumping,moshing and singing guitar riffs and lyrics – they know every song inside out. The atmosphere in that room was volcanic. Pete O’Hanlon passes out free badges to the crowd, who in turn later hand Ross Farrelly a can shouting “session! session!”. A circle of moshers leap and push for the bouncy ‘(I Need A Break From) Holidays’.They dedicate ‘Grin And Bear It’ to David Keenan. The crowd are wild and in a frenzy thirsty for track after track pushing forward and just jumping manically. Josh McClorey had to ask them to move back a little because they were crushing the people in the front. Not only did The Strypes showcase some slick dexterous playing they made sure everyone was safe at the show regularly checking if everyone was ok and handing out their water to parched fans. It was a sticky stuffy show that got wilder and wilder as the set went on. The band played well past their set with old songs like ‘What A Shame’ and ‘Scumbag City’ setting the crowd alight. With Evan Walsh drumming like a speed demon in flashy sun glasses and Pete O’Hanlon (who was reunited with a lost sock) exuding swagger and pizzazz, these guys effortlessly absorb the crowd into their brand of Beatlemania. They included everyone from the back of the room to the front in their party and boy was it insane.

The Strypes have grown into a band who can put on a monstrous show with outstanding stamina and vitality while showcasing their sophisticated, slick, refined sound and fun swagger-infused showmanship. I highly recommend seeing The Strypes live.

Watch the video for The Strypes new single ‘Great Expectations’ below

The Revellions Single Launch Party With Support from Gavin And Thee Icons and Crushed Out

We headed to The Revellions Single Launch Party last Saturday at The Grand Social, Dublin following our review of their new single ‘False Hope’.

Dublin Garage Punk band Gavin And Thee Icons kicked the show off on the night with their ruckus rock. Blasting out their mighty crashing tracks full of roaring enraged frenzy. Tracks like ‘Shout And Hollar’ give us racing guitars and stop start suspense,the lads know how to set the tempo for the night. Demolishing our ear drums with their drunken brawl-like sound its not for the faint hearted. If you want to go mad moshing in a manic delusional frenzy these guys are the ones for you. Shredding guitar solos and all, Gavin And Thee Icons gave us a striking display of mighty fun neck snappy punk.
Rock and rollers Crushed Out follow in a wave of fruity psychedelic surf. Equipped with tropical shirts and sparkly outfits and a random pineapple, they brought the Californian beach vibes to us. The husband-and-wife team Frankie Sunswept on guitar/vocals and Moselle Spiller on drums, tantalise our ears with dreamy prisms of psychedelic flavoured rock and roll. The steamy ‘Out of the Blue’ introduces the crowd to their smooth, sleek, drizzled in spaghetti western sound. Exuding swagger and class these guys take us from bouncy groovy shimmys to dazed trippy drops effortlessly. From swanky summer soaked ‘Skinny Dipping’ to the heavier punch of ‘Big Wolly’ Crushed Out play a set list made for dancing. Even if you’ve never done them before its time to bust out those 60’s “The Swim’ moves in between moshing and twisting. Treating us to new track ‘Stay Wild Gator Child’ and a sweet guitar change Crushed Out bring a set list oozing suave with splashes of shimmering crisp guitar, passionate drumming and refined musicianship.
The Revellions take to the stage with blasts of dry ice and a swirling trippy backdrop. James Lister takes every opportunity to engage with the crowd and draw them into the psychedelic hazy kaleidoscopic sound of The Revellions. They deliver a show packed with pure raw energy and thick intensity. Track after track lures the crowd deeper into their swirling entrapment pulling out old favourites like the the dark eerie ‘Strung Out Bad’ to a teasing taste of some new tracks including the insanely catchy new single ‘False Hope’. The nimble razor sharp guitar, elastic bassline and punchy drums sparkle between churning mind bending psychedelia. Its a sticky intense set that has audience members dancing in a mesmeric haze. The crowd can’t get enough of The Revellions as they call for “one more tune” following the final song. Though I don’t think the 6 piece would have minded playing all night the sound guy wasn’t having any of it (you know who you are party pooper). With thrilling shrill on guitars and pounding drums The Revellions know how to put on a good show with enthusiasm and mesmerising stupefying psychedelia.

Gavin And Thee Icons, Crushed Out and The Revellions are three bands you have to see live, follow them on their Facebook pages for more dates and new music  below

Gavin And Thee Icons https://www.facebook.com/gavinandtheeicons/

Crushed Out https://www.facebook.com/CrushedOutmusic/

The Revellions https://www.facebook.com/therevellions/

Live Music Review of Fangclub Supported By Vulpynes and Long Tail at Whelan’s Dublin

Offering ear-bleeding rock, raw and unprecedented talent Fangclub descend on Whelan’s Dublin with support from Vulpynes and Long Tail.The garage rock trio assured us last time we met them that their live shows were epic and so naturally we had to check this bold claim out for ourselves.
Vulpynes kicked things off to a fiery start with ‘Sublingual’ they blast the timid crowd with bloodthirsty blustery rock. This duo take no prisoners as Kaz’s drumming ruthlessly pummels through each track while Maeve’s strong fierce vocals resounds over the ruckus like a powerhouse. The beefy depth on guitar and shattering distortion adds a dark lusty gritty texture. They roared through the set with tracks like ‘Bitches are like Waves’ and ‘Break off the Legs’ Vulpynes are not ones to be messed with. This is music for bruised, battered moshing unfortunately a lot of the audience were too timid for the mania however they warmed up as the set progressed. Belting out the single ‘Terry Said’ Vulpynes take the track to a red blooded hair flying all over the place mania. But it was new track ‘Can’t Sit Still’ that showed that this band is destined for big things and are more than capable of holding their own. The track gave me a Jack White ‘Lazaretto’ vibe with an awesome bridge change up. Its one to look out for. Finishing their set with ‘OCD’ Vulpynes rattled the bones off the bashful crowd, warming them up and filling them with dynamic maniacal energy for the acts to come.
An utterly absorbing set follows from Long Tail as they draw the crowd nearer with ‘Waiting’. Displaying a heavier sound live and some snazzy guitar changes. The bright bubbly tracks smothered in positive upbeat tones take a punchy more aggressive role instrumentally while Ed’s vocals and lyrics still flood with dreamy cool motivational vibes. Filling the crowd with go for it attitude the band are met with a comical stage invasion as a member of the crowd jumps on stage and wiggles around like a dizzy lone ranger only to fail in attempt to crowd surf but that didn’t stop him from trying again. Long Tail display a slick tight performance and exude a comfortable swagger on stage that draws the crowd in. ‘Our Star’ and ‘Better Way’ displays glossy melodious riffs with Steve’s elastic bass teamed with Ronan’s punchy drums these guys make performing look easy. The crowd reacts well to each track as Ed banters back and forth a little and seems to sweet talk the crowd into bopping along. Even Indie Buddie gets a nice shout out. Their set finished with the single ‘Your Time’ this peppy anthem sums up the radiant glow and vibrant burst of energy all the tracks on their set possess.
Fangclub take to the stage with an undeniable confidence and breakneck momentum. Swarming into tracks like ‘Psycho’ and the feverish ‘Dreamcatcher’ they leave the crowd in awe and eager to engage in neck snapping frenzy. Steven, Kevin and Dara display electrifying energy that had every one engaged jumping and moshing as they unleashed their explosive sound completed with flashing lights. The rapid pacing percussion is frenzied and boisterous as frontman Steven, croons with raspy gritty intensity giving tracks like ‘Loner’ and ‘Coma Happy’ an eerie spine chilling quality. These guys can put on a show with vigour and roaring enthusiasm getting the crowd jumping and moshing with raging mania. The entire set is professional, slick, fun and compelling to watch as distorted shrill on guitars add a thrilling deafening elation of ear splitting satisfaction. Finishing with an epic crowd surf as Steven jumps into the crowd and they lift him like a heroic champion. What a kick ass performance. Whelan’s was left  more than satisfied with the level of enthralling noise created by all three bands. Who said rock n roll is dead?

Live Show Review of Anna-Liese at Bosco’s Café,Kilkenny

Its Saturday night and we have been invited to see Waterford band Anna-Liese rock the socks off the ever so cosy Bosco’s Café in Kilkenny. Having not seen the band since last year I was curious as to their progress and development. Casually beginning their set with a new tune the four piece showcase their naturally affluent knack for sweet toned slick riffs and melodies leaving no doubt there is talent behind these lads. Mark Walsh (Guitar/Vocals) and Emmet Conefery (Guitar/Vocals) effortlessly glide from infectious crushing heavy riffs to creamy melty licks while Sean Carey’s ductile Bass, like putty holds each track with a flexible elastic bounce. Eddy Blake’s Drums venture from hushed tap-tap-tap to rapid skin-pounding attacks for various tracks. They take a little time to warm up fully to the assemblage but before long they are bantering back and forth, blasting through tunes from their EP ‘Chasing and Fading’. Walsh’s vocals and writing style tends to steer more to a country or traditional style which adds a little depth and unique quirk to the bands alternative rock genre while Conefery’s vocal style adds a funky groovy quality. Most of the set is made up of tracks from the EP with a sneaky smattering of some new tunes which sound extremely promising as they showcase positive substantial and even sophisticated growth in their writing style and musicianship. Throwing in some covers here and there the foursome land a slick rendition of Talking Heads ‘Psycho Killer’. The heavier tracks like ‘Green’ perhaps deserving a larger venue never the less Anna-Liese take it in their stride and fulfil their promise for “loud hits and sweet rhythm” all in the comfort of this intimate charming Café.

Anna-Liese will be playing a few gigs in February and March in pubs across Waterford, Kilkenny and Cork, with two big events coming up in Cork, The CIT Battle of the Bands and a gig on the 11th March in the Bru Bar and Hostel. They will be heading back to the studio before the summer to record another 5 track EP. So keep an eye out and head down to see these guys.
Stream Anna-Liese EP ‘Chasing and Fading’ below


Live Show Review Of Bastille supported By Rationale and Keywest


The first time British four-piece Bastille were in Dublin they performed in the Academy 2 we find them on their return to Dublin headlining the 3Arena. Fans queued in the cold from morning just to get to the front. Its a long wait but they assure me its worth it.
Rationale has the grilling task of kicking off the show which I’m sure is nerve wrecking for any band, but Rationale take it in their stride. Tinashé Fazakerly possesses a mixture of Michael Jackson moves with Mick Jagger swagger and Elvis Costello charisma and magnetism. This fresh faced charmer has all the girls going wild. With his energy and pizzazz alone he has the arena in the palm of his20161110_193910 hand. He struts up and down the stage with dramatic poses and dance bursts. Not only is Fazakerly a fantastic performer combined with his powerful voice Rationale make an impression that will not be forgotten. With funky tracks sprinkled with soul and coated in body shaking sonic waves Rationale make sure that you not only hear the music you feel it through ever fibre of your being. ‘Fast Lane’ revs up the crowd in this delirious energetic yet soulful frenzy. The pulsing snappy beat and sweet luscious tones on guitar that, might I add look really slick played live. The power, punch and multi texture that the synths provide give the tracks luxurious layers making these tracks deluxe and infectious. Fazakerly gets the crowd dancing and engaging so effortlessly with his magnetism and humorous banter. I found myself gushing about how brilliant Rationale was long after the show. I would highly recommend seeing them live!
Keywest bring the antsy crowd closer to their headline act with an energetic set of tenacious rumbling drum beats and piercing guitar. Lead singer Andrew Kavanagh’s playful banter and cheeky Irish wit keeps the crowd engaged and hyped as they belt out track after track relishing the arena opportunity. Its obvious that Keywest are arena ready as they comfortably draw the crowd in and engage themkeywest-2 in a sing along. The quintet made the arena seem like an intimate gig as they held onto their raw fresh energy that too often gets lost at an arena show with over production. Though probably well rehearsed parts seem to be off the cuff and spontaneous which was refreshing and the crowd lapped it up savouring every moment,  proud of the lads achievements from busking roots to the 3arena. Despite the constant reminder from Kavanagh, I cant seem to remember where they will be playing next though……..(March 31st The Olympia Theatre)
Waiting in anticipation the crowd watch a televised feature of a grumbling tightly wound TV newscaster which plays across the four screens of the 3Arena’s stage, if you watch the videos and are one of those devoted  Bastille followers, you will understand the feature if not its still entertaining to watch. This does drag on a bit longer than desired by the audience as they begin to get excited and scream over the safety announcements hoping it was the announcement of the band. When the crowd become really hungry Bastille take to the stage complete with a string and brass section. Opening with ‘Set Me Free’ frontman Dan Smith spirals round the stage in his “Wild World Corporation” t-shirt,  a brand everyone in the arena is well familiar with by now. Bastille blast through their set list with a hurricane of high powered anthems. Its all frantic pogo – jumping and dancing as Bastille step things up with a dazzling flashing lights display leaving their army of adoring fans in thrilling awe of their magnificence. Smith stops to thank his fans after every song humbled and grateful for every bit of support they give him. One thing that really sets Bastille apart from most arena bands out there is their love and genuine appreciation for their fans and this love is returned to them in its masses by their devotees. ‘Flaws’ queues Smiths brave entry into the crowd. As he makes his way to a podium in the centre of the arena he is pulled back and forth, not fazed by this he jumps and dances amongst the crowd amazingly his vocals bar a few shakes remain remarkably intact. Truly humbled by the bastille-1turnout and the support Smith recalls the last time they were in Dublin in the Academy 2 and once again thanks the crowd. We only receive brief breaks from the intense energy with the slower sweet lull of ‘These Four Walls'(The Ballad Of Perry Smith). ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’ sees Smith rush back into the crowd as he encourages the entire arena to dance with him and we witness a sea of jumping as everyone on the floor joins in. Feeling tired from dancing song after song I decide to rest a bit until they explode into ‘Good Grief’ and although my legs felt like they could buckle under me I jumped and danced anyway (feeling the pain of that decision the next day I still regret nothing).
The quartet walk off stage and we await the encore. The crowd chant “Olé, Olé, Olé” to encourage the bands swift return. The lights focus on a spot high up in the rafters where Smith is sitting out over bastille-2a fire exit stairwell. Backed by guitarist Will Farquarson they sing ‘Two Evils’ not fazed by the height Smith waves at fans in the balcony. No-one feels left out when Bastille perform, they include and engage with everyone even if it is at dangerous heights. ‘Icarus’ returns Smith and Farquarson to the stage and the crowd bellow out the lyrics while Smith spins about the stage and pirouettes with bliss. This manic and energetic set comes to a close with their biggest hit and much loved ‘Pompeii’. Keywest and Rationale are invited on stage to help them out. An outburst of singing from the crowd and massive sound of all the acts on stage lifts the song into legendary status. The three acts on stage and the audience experience a special moment of euphoria and elation leaving everyone in an ecstatic high as they leave the venue.