Sleep Thieves performing in The Village on Day Three. (Deadly) photo by Ruth Medjber.
Day Three of Ones To Watch 2012 boasted more musician-with-laptop types than any other event I’ve been to on Irish shores, which, at first, appeared to be good news for the beat-hungry paying customer, but bad news for the artists themselves. With so many similar acts on the bill, how does Joey Two Synth make his name count? And more importantly, how many individuals from this tipsy Friday night crowd will be able to remember it tomorrow?
There’s no questioning the Irish appetite for computer-generated sounds – you only have to look to the drool-inducing line-up gracing the Twisted Pepper tonight (SertOne, Bantum, Monto, Datadrip, Reid and more) for proof that electronic music is in marvelously good health – but a truckload of them all at once was just too much to process. At least, this is what I assumed.
As it happened, the acts on last night’s bill were innovative and versatile enough to vanquish my worries completely. On first gawk, it would have been easy to mix up Last Days Of 1984, Tenaka and White Collar Boy or equally, Reid, Simon Bird, Bantum and Trophy Boyfriend, but each set was genuinely memorable, with each new sound tugging at a different nerve.
I’m not even going to attempt a comprehensive review of last night’s goings-on. Reid delivered above and beyond what I was expecting. Daithi trumped anything I’ve seen him do before. It was a night for overachieving.
Tonight, at the band-heavy fourth installment of Ones To Watch, I’ll be asking the same questions as before, only replacing Joey Two Synth with Billy New Strat. If I get anywhere near as encouraging an answer, I’ll be a very happy punter.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 13
Last Days Of 1984
White Collar Boy
* Change from original line-up which listed Future Monarchs.
White Collar Boy
The brainchild of Dubliners Gavin White and Mark Cummins, White Collar Boy sound mightily impressive on wax (by which of course I mean SoundCloud), but their oft-peaceful electronica took on a whole different form in the upstairs crook of Whelan’s last eve. The dreamy, ambient grooves on their Solar Midnight mini-album gave way to freewheeling rhythms, razor-sharp hooks and periodically, bone-shaking thumps, made all the more charming with some eerie, booming vocals. I was pretty floored to learn that their first live show took place only a month ago.
Simon Bird performing in Whelan’s on Day Three. Photo by Ruth Medjber.
Dublin-based Brit Simon Bird is the man responsible for one of my favourite sets at 2011’s Hard Working Class Heroes festival, so I was hardly surprised when I fell for his jarring, industrial grooves all over again last night. The real miracle is that, in just three months, Bird’s live show has become sharper, louder and all the more engaging.
A bonus: if you took a step back and squinted, it kinda sorta looked like Prince Harry was banging out the choons.
The Painfully Clever:
Dublin-based production whiz and probable evil genius Gregor Ruigrok AKA Trophy Boyfriend didn’t so much as flinch when he dropped his remix of Jedward’s ‘Lipstick’ towards the end of his set, but, to me at least, it felt like a dastardly plan to trick music-lovers into dancing blissfully along to the country’s most frequently-bemoaned musical duo. And dance they did…while bellowing out the reconstituted chorus. Interestingly enough, Trophy Boyfriend received equally ecstatic reactions for remixes of tracks by The Cast Of Cheers (‘Family’) and Le Galaxie (‘Powers Of Miami’), two bands whom it is acceptable, nay demanded, for any self-respecting Irish music fan to like. Clever, clever lad.
Holy Roman Army
Come On Live Long
Hush War Cry
Gypsies On The Autobahn
For times, go here.