Made In Ireland

Ones To Watch 2012: Day Four

Although I sadly missed the debut live performance by Nanu Nanu, Day Four of Ones To Watch couldn’t have been sweeter, thanks to great sets by Bouts, The Dying Seconds and more. It was a perfect, if a little overwhelming, end to the festival that is fast becoming one of the most essential events in Irish music.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 14

Depravations

Bouts

Spies

Alarmist

Redwoods

Dying Seconds

CFIT

Holy Roman Army

The Gandhis

Come On Live Long

Hush War Cry

Nanu Nanu

Trap Door

Futures Apart

Raglans

Gypsies OnThe Autobahn

The Great:

Performing in Whelan’s on Day Four. Photo by Ruth Medjber.

Spies

Doom rockers Spies have an average age of about 19, so it would make perfect sense if their live show involved all five members awkwardly fumbling about the stage, bumping into each other and knocking over their monitors. Instead they are, simply, one of the most composed bands around, which perfectly suits their booming, epic, thundering sound. Drummer Jeffrey Courtney-Flynn earned plenty of fans last night with his roaring, rumbling grooves. Meanwhile, Michael Broderick’s floor-skimming voice gets me every time.

The (also) Great:

Performing in Whelan’s on Day Four. Photo by Ruth Medjber.
Alarmist

Instrumental foursome Alarmist are already known for their incredible live show, but even their biggest fans (myself included) will have been impressed with last night’s set, which countless members of the audience watched literally open-mouthed. Typically of the alt. rockers, the show was was totally gimmick-free (aside from perhaps, when Barry O’Halpin played guitar and keys at the same time, which is surely a gimmick worth applauding). Alarmist don’t do smoke and mirrors, just soaring, arresting choons, flawlessly executed.

The Surprise: 

Performing in the Village on Day Four. Photo by Ruth Medjber.
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Gypsies On The Autobahn
Cabra Indie rockers Gypsies On The Autobahn are allegedly one of the most talked-about bands in Ireland (at least, according to a press release issued by erm, Gypsies On The Autobahn), but these chart-ready wise guys were far from the most talked-about band at Ones To Watch. While Lethal Dialect, Wizards Of Firetop Mountain, Daithi, Spies, Alarmist and others received their fair share of smoking area back pats, GOTA’s Village show passed without a hint of hype, for two possible reasons. 1) Despite forming in 2006, the band only perfected their spiky, harmony-led, Maccabees-style Indie pop in the last few weeks, or 2) because we all figured that if they were worth a look, surely someone would have said something before now.
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However you explain it, the important thing to remember is that Gypsies On The Autobahn played a striking set last night to a tiny, freezing (the inexplicably Baltic temperatures in the Village are a story for another day) but nonetheless enraptured crowd. At a festival where rap and metal played happily alongside folk, rock and electronica, it was nice to see some thoughtful, accomplished pop sneak in at the last minute.
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For more pics from Friday and Saturday, see Ruth’s blog.
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