It takes dedication and commitment to do what we do – especially as we do it on a voluntary basis and for the love of the music we write about – and so it is with these two qualities in mind that your humble reviewer finds himself reviewer finds himself at his second gig in less than 24 hours, bringing you, our beloved and faithful reader, the lowdown on performances by no fewer than eight bands within that timescale…
It’s a dedication also demonstrated by Tom Clarke, frontman of openers Tusks: the previous evening he had done his level best – aided by his band mates in Bad Boat – to rip the nearby Voodoo club a new one – and yet here he was, the sun still shining the following evening, endeavouring to do exactly the same again, in a different venue and fronting a different outfit. The result, nevertheless, is remarkably similar to that achieved the night before, as the four piece deliver a bone-crushingly heavy set pf blues-infected stoner doom with a classic metal vibe, very much in the vein of Orange Goblin: Clarke (who appears to still be enjoying the after effects of the previous evening) also retains his trademark sense of humour, as displayed on the intro “this is our 1976 hit – it’s very catchy… this is ‘Inside The Goldmine (Fuck Jim Morrison)’.”.
Lantern For A Gale play hard-edged, aggressive, in-your-face hardcore with the ferocity of the north Atlantic gales which sweep their part of the world. Vocalist Paul is the first to take the action to the dancefloor in a bid to whip up the audience, and succeeds to a degree which rewards his energetic performance. Musically, the rest of the band are tight and effective, demonstrating with aplomb their growing reputation as one of the most vibrant and vital outfits working in this particular subgenre in this corner of the world.
FiveWillDie have travelled the length of the island of Ireland to guest at this, their labelmates Gacys Threads’ single launch, and they bring with them a sound that is as heavy, imposing and downright awe-inspiring at the Cliffs of Mohir, just a few short hours’ drive from their home city of Cork. If you’re looking for a direct comparison, Mohir makes the hills outside Dover look like a badly whitewashed picket fence – and FWD deliver fittingly statueseque riffes and bludgeoning melodies, very much in the mould of St Vitus, with its dark, nihilstice doom fused with stripped down black metal and more sludge than a Cork peat bog on a wet January morning. While Colin Crowley’s bass playing is exemplary, ratcheting the heaviness up to levels even the Richter scale can’t monitor, while at the same time intermingling the right mix of heavy duty melodies into the sweeping, cold instrumental passages, the only complaint is that Andrew Forrestal’s are completely lost in the mix, and completely disappear during some of the more subtle moments of this otherwise apocalypse-inducing set.
Headliners Gacys Threads seem to have real fire in their bellies as they deliver a set which is hard, vicious and intense in equal measures, making this one of the best performances I have yet seen from the Belfast quartet. Vocalist Aaron Vance literally throws his all into his own performance, leaping from the stage at the beginning of ‘Titans’ – one of two tracks on the split 7″ singles which this gig is officially launching – and taking out not only the entire pit win one swoop (with the result that he actually hits the deck, rolls and leaps straight back to his feet) but also guitarist Blane Doherty’s effects board in the process. This summarizes their psyched, adrenalized set, which is a fitting celebration of the occasion with all four lads – bassist Johnny Munro and drummer Stephen Currie complete the line up – on truly top form, and bringing to a close another superb showcase of the breadth and depth of talent which this little island called Erin is offering forth at the moment…
Photographs by Paul Verner.
Check out more photographs from this gig at our online gallery: http://planetmosh.com/gacys-threadsfivewilldielantern-for-a-galetusks-limelight-2-belfast-070913/