And So I Watch You From Afar do Two Nights in Dublin - Live Review Night 1
And So I Watch You From Afar in Whelan’s, Dublin on 15 May 2013.
To celebrate the launch of their third studio album “All Hail Bright Futures”, Belfast noise merchants And So I Watch You From Afardescended on Whelan’s last night for the first of two Dublin shows. With the new album taking the band in several different musical directions, it was always going to come down to how the material sounded live. Sure enough the band did not disappoint, bringing their trademark ferocious intensity to both old songs and new.
With ASIWYFA curating the support lineup on the night, the diverse opening acts reflected the multitude of influences held by the band.
ASIWYFA’s entrance was heralded by the opening tack of “All Hail Bright Futures”. Starting with a tropical calypso sound, Eunoia increased in intensity as the band emerged and took their places, launching into Big Thinks Do Remarkable with sheer unbridled vigour. This was followed by the even more energetic and chaotic Like A Mouse. This opening salvo of new tracks proved just how well the new material works on a live stage, with the new addition of group vocals giving the crowd a chance to chant along in unison. The tracks may have been new, but it was clear that the audience were already familiar with them.
Echoes and Dust Live Show Review: No Spill Blood - Belfast
Things to do before you die part 1, catch Dublin’s No Spill Bloodplaying live. Part 2 would be make sure you hear their debut e.p Street Meat. They made their Belfast debut last year and I didn’t make it then, managing to avoid the grim reaper I ventured out to see them in Bar Sub at Queen’s Union supporting fellow Sargent House rockers Fang Island. Street Meat has been on repeat play since I first heard it and to watch the band recreate every nuance of its incredible forceful and brutal sound was a joyous experience. Not every day you see brutal and joyous in the same sentence, that’s what No Spill Blood make you do, they’re utterly unique.
Featuring Matt Hedigan on Bass/Vocals, Ruadhan O’Meara on effects (I do not know the exact instrumentation he was playing) and the supremely talented and ridiculously moustachioed Lar Kaye on drums, these 3 guys give their absolute all in the quest to kill off what hearing I have left. Opening with the vicious ‘No Retreat’ initial attention is focused on Matt, a huge and hirsute man who twists out sinewy bass lines while bellowing blood curdling howls, the lyrics indecipherable. With the greatest respect, he looks like the sort of chap you wouldn’t want to be meeting down a dark alley. Probably a thoroughly decent bloke.
Omar Rodriguez Lopez doesn’t sleep much. At least that is the impression one must get looking at the massive amount of work he gets through. This year alone, the prodigious and prolific guitarist has released a new album with prog-rock The Mars Volta, toured with the reformed punk band At The Drive-In, and here he is on another tour with the instrumental post-rock The Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group (where do they come up with these inventive names?). At least, that’s the impression we’re given. That’s what the posters say; that’s what the gig listings say; that’s what I was sent to review.
What it turns out to be is Mr Rodriguez Lopez’s latest musical venture Bosnian Rainbows. I think it’s fair to say that no one really knew what to expect. They strolled out on stage at 9.45. Three of the band huddle around the instruments – a two-piece drum set, guitar and lots of keyboards – as lead singer Teri Gender Bender (Teresa Suarez to her mother) took the spotlight at the front of the stage.
What followed was just over an hour of music, which none in the audience had ever heard before. Bosnian Rainbows didn’t once venture into any of Rodriguez Lopez’s back catalogue, instead reeling out song after song from this unknown new band; one which “hope to make a record next year”. Nobody complained however, as what they were giving the audience was something quite exceptional and very different. Imagine St Vincent recording with King Crimson, with the occasional input of some 80s’ electro keys.
Teri’s vocals were powerful, yet vulnerable as she jumped around the stage like Kate Bush on a bad acid trip. This was when she wasn’t giving audience members a scary smile or speaking in Spanish as she did between most songs. Rodriguez Lopez stood out of the spotlight tearing away at his guitar; very much the leader of the group still. The highlight of the show was the epic Turtle Neck (at least that’s what I’m calling it). Rodriguez Lopez provided some backing vocals at the start of what seemed a slow, sensitive piece. It gathered pace before eventually breaking into an instrumental piece; allowing Rodriguez Lopez his first opportunity to really show his prodigious guitar ability. It was one of the few times of the night in which he let himself off the leash.
And So I Watch You From Afar: Live Review from Camden Crawl - Dublin 2012
“Sticking around the Button Factory, the venue fills up nicely for Friday’s main attraction, Northern Ireland’s finest, And So I Watch You From Afar. Their set kicks off with a furious rendition of Set Guitars To Kill and S is for Salamander both are fantastic and whip the crowd into frenzy. The Button Factory seems to be the ideal venue for ASIWYFA with them sounding massive and every note is pitch perfect. 7 Billion People and Don’t Waste Time Doing Things You Hate (dedicated to the late Beastie Boy MCA) get the crowd signing along and the band look like they love every minute of it. There is a really special moment with set closer The Voiceless with guitarist Rory and Niall climbing into the crowd and playing the last 3 minutes in the middle of the baying fans. By far the highlight of the day it was a superb performance. “- Niall Flack (Click to read full review)
And So I Watch You From Afar to Play The Music Show - Dublin
Stay tuned for an in-depth interview on the technical side of ASIWYFA in a future issue of Hot Press. For a taste of what’s in store from the guys at The Music Show, check out this amazing full set from the band’s Moscow gig last week:
Having just returned from a grueling two-week jaunt across Russia that saw them packing out houses left, right and center, instrumental geniuses And So I Watch You From Afar hit the RDS this weekend where they intend to bring the Live Stage to its knees at The Music Show.
“We can’t wait,” beams guitarist Rory Friers. “We can’t wait to be back in Dublin, it feels like it’s been years. I’ve been watching some videos of The Music Show from the past couple of years and it looks really fun.”
With last year’s critically acclaimed Gangs one of the ten nominees for next week’s Choice Music Prize, there’s a certain degree of pressure on the collective shoulders of ASIWYFA when it comes to their next work. Friers is adamant that no two albums will sound the same and is keen that the band retain their experimental edge.
“Right now we’re using a whole new range of equipment that’s really quite new to us so we’re messing around with a lot more electronic stuff, using midi, using samplers here and there,” he says. “We’re having fun stretching our muscles in another world. It’s relatively new ground for us but very inherent soundwise, the kind of noises we’ve listened to all our lives and now we’re creating ourselves.
“Who knows if it will seep into And So I Watch You From Afar or whether it’s stuff we do on our own but we’re having a lot of fun exploring these new technologies, which is why I’m really excited about getting down to The Music Show because by the looks of it, there’s an awful lot of stuff to play with.”
The Music Show 2012, presented by Hot Press in association with RTE 2fm, runs from February 25-26 in The RDS, Dublin.
Tickets are available (€12 one day, €16 for the weekend) on Ticketmaster.
Sargent House Goes to Dublin for HWCH Music Convention
Our very own Cathy Pellow will be speaking as an industry know it all on the “A Team” Panel on October 7th at 3:30pm at the Button Factory. Also speaking will be Mick Roe from our Irish label partners The Richter Collective.
But we would also like to point you towards the HWCH Convention, a series of panels and workshops which (DOI) OTR has had a hand in putting together. The convention events take place in either Filmbase or the Button Factory in Temple Bar and admission is free. Yes, free. You pay zilch euro for this helping of knowledge. Bargain.
Between Bandtips, a series of informal peer to peer conversations where a bunch of media, festival bookers and venue bookers will chew the fat, and the panels (more below), there’s a ton of stuff to feed your brain whether you’re someone who is involved in music onstage or offstage. The list of panelists and industry delegates who’re in town for the weekend is very impressive, featuring festival bookers from those international events bands should be playing (SXSW, Great Escape, Eurosonic, CMJ, Camden Crawl, Reeperbahn etc), geeks from companies like Soundcloud, We7 and PIAS Entertainment and a plethora of international media and bloggers. It’s a who’s who of people who are doing interesting and cool stuff right now as opposed to a bunch of aul’ lads who did stuff 20 years ago which you often find at similar events in Ireland.
Tera Melos to Play Forbidden Fruit Festival - Dublin
Tera Melos will be playing this years Forbidden Fruit Festival in Ireland on June 5th on the Lighthouse Stage that was curated by our very own brothers in arms The Richter Collective. What a Lineup. While over there Tera Melos will also be playing a number of UK shows and a few more in Ireland so keep an eye out for the announcement soon of venues, dates and opening bands for their June European shows.
Adebisi Shank packed the house beyond capacity last night in Dublin at The Button Factory. We would have killed to be there, thanks to Kieran Frost for the photos and to whomever posted the clip of the dance party at the end. At least now we have visuals and can dream about seeing them at SXSW for their first US shows ever.