It’s not too hard to tell when the local university semester is in full flow, as inboxes quickly become filled with invitations from Radar, the inhouse promoters at the local students’ union, encouraging one and all to come along to their weekly free showcase gigs, featuring an eclectic – and sometimes less than complementary – range of local acts.
Well, having nothing better to do on a wet and windy Thursday evening, and living only ten minutes’ walk away, it would be positively rude not to take up said kind invitation… especially with the promise of cheap alcohol to boot!
Opening the first gig of 2013, Hologram are far from PM material: perhaps best decribed as ‘alternative pop’, the quartet nevertheless offer a pleasing diversion, and attract a healthy crowd (which is always good to see for an opening act), with the heavy presence of the piano as their main instrument reminding your reviewer of a catchier Duke Special mixed with Ram’s Pocket Radio.
Next up, ‘Derry’s Droids are noisy little oiks, delivering a cross between metalcore and highly technical mathcore with undoubted ability, but in a way in which lives up to their monicker: it’s all very programmed and robotic, especially in theri very staid live presence. Nevertheless, they again drew a healthy, and extremely appreciative crowd, as that’s all you can really ask for…
Headliners Gascan Ruckus turn the noise factor up a further level, and their brand of earnest, metallic, catchy pop punk is rather an enjoyable listen – as sort of cross between The Bronx and Rancid – with their delivery aided by the fact that they do actually seem to be enjoying themselves, with plenty of onstage movement and crowd interaction from guitarist/vocalist Michael Woods. The fourpiece have had a busy time of it over the past year, with three singles released and almost incessant touring, and are thus going on a six month break: I definitely will be looking out for them on their return to action.