The Big Summer gig @ The Warrenpoint – 21/08/2010August 28, 2010 1 Comment
The Square Peg is a regular venue for various bands who are famous around Northern Ireland’s music scene. This month it was The Big Summer Gig, with some of the most prominent Northern Irish bands making an appearance. LaFaro, No Mean City, Here Comes The Landed Gentry and Gacys Threads to name a few made the venue shake with excitement.
The first band I managed to catch were classic rock outfit ‘Sweet Taste’. Playing like they’re straight out of the golden age of Aerosmith and AC/DC, these boys find a cosy place on stage, adorned with bandanas and leather boots. Despite the small crowd they still find a way to get the few people present moving and interested – a great start to the day.
This is my first time in the Square Peg and I wanted to see my first band from the local area. This came in the shape of ‘Tied To Machines’, a young four piece from Banbridge. At first seeming quite awkward on stage, they begin to loosen up as they perform more and more of their self-proclaimed “Thrash Punk”. Fusing influences from the likes of Queens of the Stone Age and Black Flag, they produce footstomping, headbanging songs with irresistible hooks.
The heaviest band on the bill, Gacys Threads have a reputation to keep. This hardcore outfit from Belfast are a guitarist down in this instance but nonetheless they fill the room with destructive drums and awkward yet wonderful chord structures. Front man Vance stands on stage with such presence and poise that he puts some of the greatest metal front men to shame. Powerfully capturing the essence of hardcore metal in every single song, they walk off stage for the next band to attempt to achieve just what they have.
The Alice Kona Band arrive next and they make quite an impression on the young crowd present in Warrenpoint. A four-piece band with deep heavy garage rock roots. Sounding like they should be a headlining band at a festival like Reading or Oxegen, their massive presence does not go unnoticed.
Gascan Ruckus are next – full of funky riffs, catchy hooks and melodic solos. The quartet from Armagh have a certain groove about them that makes the entire venue stomp their feet and hum along. With a powerhouse drummer and a charismatic front man, it’s a perfect mix of the harshness of punk and the thrill of classic rock. Playing songs from their latest EP “The Governor” and throwing in some golden oldies for good measure, they perform with perfection and create great banter.
The energy-fuelled trio B.O.Y take to the stage and blow their massive sound up into an almost destructive force against the crowd. Gathering quite a number to check them out, B.O.Y are locals and not strangers to The Square Peg. Bursting at the seams, they explode into various songs off their debut EP, all with their usual harsh screams, funk filled bass and effects driven guitar. B.O.Y are a force to be reckoned with on the NI scene.
No Mean City are fresh off stage appearances at the likes of Sonisphere, Download and T in the Park, but now they’re back to a good old Northern Irish pub stage, and by the looks of it, they couldn’t be happier to be home. A band that as been dominating the scene very quickly – they’ve become well known almost overnight. Front woman Jilly St. John drives them into the limelight with her eye-catching dance moves and natural enthusiasm. Catchy and fun to listen to, No Mean City are a delight to watch and not to mention they make an amazing noise up on stage, making it a damn good show to watch.
The main support for tonight comes in the form of Derry band Here Comes The Landed Gentry. With quirky cowboy style outfits, they play a fusion of garage rock, rockabilly and blues. This is the kind of act that get the crowd flooding in, tapping their feet and rocking their heads back and forth – pure Rockabilly Boogie. The fantastic front man teems with charisma, gathering the crowd in like cattle as they strum the last chords of their final song.
After a long day of mostly fantastic performances, it’s time to go out with a bang: LaFaro – the kings of the NI rock scene. They Open with the soothing vocal harmonies of Ballad of Burnt Dave, before bursting into the guitar driven riff that leads this song right the way through. The crowd are pushing and shoving to be to the front and for the first time today I see some proper action at the front of the stage.
Chugging nicely through songs such as Not A Song, Mr Heskey, Leningrad and of course the now notorious Tupenny Nudger, the ferocity and passion shown through on each track is as endearing as it is straight up fun to listen to. Ending the set with B-side song “Climate” they have once again successfully managed to get underneath everyone’s skin and stay there for a long, long time.
By Chris Leckey