Tunes from Queens of the Stone Age, The Stone Roses and Foals as well as HudMo and Zach Hill.
New ones from Le Galaxie (who are launching their new E.P. ‘Fade 2 Forever’ on the 14th in The Button Factory and We Arrive Alive (that launched their new E.P. on the Folie à Deux (with Sarah) Tumblr this week). Also, more Irish tunes in the form of Logikparty, Ghosts, Reid and Kool Thing.
Health and Young Legionnaire (my little ode to Canada Day and the 4th of July) ;).
Checking out the Forbidden Fruit line up with tunes from Bear in Heaven, New Order, Actress, Com Truise, Factory Floor, White Collar Boy, Bloody Beetroots and Holy Fuck.
As well as a new one from KaraKara, off his new EP ‘Not Another EP’ and two from the Funeral Suits - who’s album ‘Lily of the Valley’ launches next week in Ireland - which a gig in Whelans on Thursday the 7th (details HERE), and an in-store at Tower Records tonight (June 1) !
So, you all know the story by now. Over one hundred bands in a myriad of locations dotted all around the city. The inaugural outing of the festival here in Dublin - the sister event to the Camden Crawl proper. It takes dogged determination, a few cab fares and the planning precision of a hunting dog to try and get to all the acts you would like to see - but its worth it. Its quite the festival.
I’m late - only by a few minutes, i swear - to the 7:50 show at the Village by Jape, but already theres no hope that this gig will be spent in any amount of comfort. The sheer number of people here means that its an utter cattle run to reach anywhere near enough to the stage to see, or anywhere far enough up around the perimeter of the crowd that one could avoid being constantly shimmied up against in peoples bid to get closer to the man himself. My pervading thought as i stood immersed in the crowd was of a conversation i had with Jape about gig etiquette, and how there should be some sort of shortest to tallest rule imposed on audiences. This paradigm is in no way in effect at this gig. Harrumph.
Truth be told, its my first time to see Jape live - quite how I’ve missed him hitherto is slightly unknown to me, but nonetheless. Playing to an audience that might just know his songs just as well as him and his band, the first few are older ones, before he launches into his forthcoming new single called ‘Turn The Record Off’. Its circusy sounding intro, balanced by an appropriate feeling 4/4 drum march, and an insistent chorus chant of ‘Don’t Turn The Record Off’ are great…. but still I’m distracted by the etuiquette-less crowds, sorry. The show goes on. Older tunes like ‘I Was A Man’ or ‘Floating’ rip through the crowd with their bouncing funk drums, and synth-y elements. These ones sound fuller somehow than the newer tunes - though, no doubt, more due to sheer practice as opposed to the amount of layers to each song, as new songs such as ‘Ribbit, Ribbit, Ribbit’ that encompass thumping tom drums, piano lines, vocals and harmonies as well as synths and tambourines, and the odd cow bell for good measure. The gig finished with ‘The Oldest Mind’ after a slight prevarication when sound issues saw the ‘arse fall outta the gig’ (Richie’s words, not mine), nevertheless - they had the crowd stomping with excitement.
Also, by way of mentioning, the entire set on the night was laid to backdrop of an AMAZING set of visuals by Fergal Henry - all flouro colors against white interludes - they were utterly transfixing, even from my spot unhappily squished in amongst the maddening crowds.
The Funeral Suits
The Funeral Suits are next on my hit list. They are (happily) playing next door at Whelans main stage. I am way too excited. I haven’t seen the boys play since their ‘Hard Working Class Heros’ set last year (LAST YEAR IS WAY TOO LONG AGO). From the opening strains of their set, the quintet are all bent double over synths and into guitars and drums, performing with every bit of intense vigor that they are renowned for. ‘All Those Friendly People’ (their newest single - which you can watch the video for here) was amongst the openers - though a momentary frisson with the sound saw the boys try to strike up a conversation with the crowd - ‘How is everybody? (muted response) I SAAAAID, HOW IS EVERYONE, YOU PRICKS??? ANSWER ME!!! Bahaha - JOKE!’ - rock pricks, these guys are not. Their set included most of the tracks off their so-soon-to-be-released album ‘Lily of the Valley’ - and were delivered so beautifully that i at once wanted to go home to put in my pre-order. Its going to be sick. Renditions of ‘Mary’s Revenge’ with its awesome harmonies and syncopatic synth lines, bookended by repetitious and unequivocal choruses - were fucking beautiful. ‘Health’, ‘Adventure Misadventure’ and ‘Florida’ filled out the core of the set, and saw the boys interchanging instruments easily, wrenching out tourniquets of emotion in every song. On the low stage you can see the sweat dripping off their faces. This is the way to see a gig. Their stage show is timed and known to a tee, without any feeling of it being overly rehearsed. For a brief interlude, the tone slows down with stripped down, almost acoustic feeling versions of “I Still Love the High’ ‘and We Only Attack Ourselves’ - with brush drums and a feeling of restraint that is both more and less intense if you catch me. The soft yet agonized feeling lyrics - ‘I still love the high’ - move into the more fervent, penetrating and always poetically delivered lines of ‘Hands Down By Your Side’ - which was the closer on the night and despite its gentle opening strains, culminates in total raucous mayhem. The set is over before i even realize, and looking down, I notice that my fists have been clenched so tight throughout that i have nail marks cutting into my skin. Thats simply what the Suits will do to you. The highlight of my Crawl, bar none.
We Are Scientists
An opener of ‘Nice Guys’ from We Are Scientists feels apt to me somehow as the show gets underway in the Village because the (twitter reference alert) ‘Scientistbros’ seem to be just that. Their show is convivial and classic American pop-rock from the off, but somehow feeling slightly saccharine when butted up against the raw passion of the Suits. Sharp relief. Better known songs like ‘The Scene Is Dead’ are what the crowd are here for - and the crowd is, unsurprisingly, huge. But this is my quintessential trouble with this gig. This band is, admittedly or not, one of the ‘headliners’ to the festival - which means its packed out in the venue and probably with folks that are in to the more ‘commercial’ side of the festival - there will be no fringe venues for most of these people. Nonetheless, the We Are Scientists set is exactly as it should be - a catalogue of their uptempo, soft rock, brandished with skill, showmanship and easy repartee onstage and with the crowd. These guys know what they are doing. Renditions of ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’, ‘Rules Don’t Stop’ and ‘It’s A Hit’ have the entire place jumping - the crowd are fucking loving it. They know exactly what they are doing. The gig even induces frenzies of crowd surfing towards the end of the set by some rather impetuous female gig goers, and even lead singer Keith Murray. Impressed. Even if the final would-be crowd surfer did end up being swallowed into the possibly less than able crowd, eliciting an “OH NO. His brains are everywhere now!” from Keith. These guys are ‘BROS’ - and you cant but help but like them. They finish on ‘The Great Escape’ in all its hook laden pop mastery - and credit where its due, the sheer enormity of the catalogue of work behind these guys is nothing short of amazing. And they are a great live show. Anyone that can do an entire set, and then neck a pint of Guiness in one go for a bit of a buzz with the crowd is a bit of a winner really, non?
Running to the Workmans club on the Quays for my late night DJ set, I wasn’t sure that I would end up catching any of Reid. But *trying* to walk into the absolutely fucking packed main venue room in The Workmans - I’m glad that on this occasion i was early enough to catch at least some of his set. Holy Fuck. Reid is not at all what i expected. For some (apparently ridiculous) reason, his name brought a more low key, possibly even singer-songwritery buzz to mind - yes I understand that this would be a really bizarre time slot should this have been the case - but, eh, ANYWAYS. The floor was reverberating under the sheer weight of the bass coming from the stage. Strains of chillwave feeling sounds - but all set at a much higher tempo and with kick-in-the-face bass throughout. Check out a track called ‘Diptera’ for an idea of what to expect, and to see JUST how wrong i was with my name based assumption.The riled crowd looked to be enjoying the hell out of the set, and Reid had to field more than a few handshakes from wooed spectators when he finished up. He plays the Forbidden Fruit festival at 6pm on Saturday 2nd June… Front and center, folks. Front and center.
I spent a few minutes before heading down to this show, debating with myself as to wether actually wearing my ‘Alarmist’ t-shirt to their Camden Crawl set would throw me into the realm of ‘superfan girl’ - so instead I bedecked myself in Batman and headed off, to what i knew would be a great show - even at ten to 7 on a Saturday night. Starting slightly behind schedule because of some sort of missing drum acutrement - as far as i could gather - the set began with ‘Giraffe Center’ and, as expected, the lads are as tight as ever. Double drum beats that bring the intricacy of ‘Battles’ to mind, and the mind-blowing dual instrumentation (play a guitar and a synth at the SAME TIME anyone? ANYONE? Right - didn’t think so) always make for a stellar show from these boys. Thrown into the mix were a few new songs - ‘They sound just like the old songs.’ joked Barry. The first new one - though i didn’t catch its name - began with a stunted high synth line, framed by a typically complicated guitar line and elicited wry smiles form the four lads as they came to its culmination. Another new one from the boys (why you no announce names?) - had a very definite groove to it - and almost a slightly beachy, Jamacian vibe with its steel drum-esque noises hovering in the mix. Pretty, electro, pre-programmed beats sat on top of ‘Wavves‘y synths, and made for another winner of a track for me - though the utterance at the end of the piece was ‘Sorry! i forgot how to play the guitar during that song’ - yeah, suuuure. The finale song was not one that i recognized - which means it is definitely NOT on the well worn Alarmist EP that i own, but was a chant of drums that broke only to allow for the guitars to retort. Quite the show, and appreciated by a surprising-for-the-early-hour drove of spectators. One question though, when’s the new material coming out?
Also, and by no way secondarily, the whole set was backed up beautifully by the always amazing visual treat that is the work of 11/11 label mate, Slipdraft. Graphic neon geometrics sat in sharp contrast to monochrome imagery, as well as the inclusion of some sonogram imagery made for a stunning ‘other world’ of visuals swirling behind the quartet throughout. Gorgeous. Always.
It was at this point that I had (‘HAD’ to - ehem) bail off to The Horrors that were playing at The Academy - which you can read about here.