You can’t keep a good gig down. As State turns the corner into Dame St, all is darkness before us. Within a few seconds, however, the lights flicker back into action and we’re ready to go at The Mercantile. As with our January launch show, tonight is to feature a selection of names from our Faces of 2014 digital magazine. For that, Blades Club turned up at an ice rink in full surf wear but here they’re far more suitably attired, leather jacket and all. And they sound just like the kind of band who should wear the old rock ‘n’ roll fashion standby. Tight as you like, they race through their thirty minute set – dispensing one cracking guitar pop tune after another. An exhilarating start to the evening.
Beach too deal in guitar music, but of a quite different variety. The term space grunge may sound vague but it does sort of sum them up. There’s plenty of electric action, sure, yet countered with all sorts of interesting diversions. The bass bobs and weaves its way in and out of dub rhythms, while singer Dave Barrett commands your attention without really trying. All this after only a year together – staggering.
That’s the last we’ll see of guitars for tonight however. Drums and bass too, for that matter. Talkboy is a one man operation, constructing his dance tunes via a laptop, keyboard and other bits and pieces. Like others, he sits half way between a DJ and performer – tinkering here, prodding there. The results are superb, expansive tracks that ebb and flow. It’s music obviously designed for the club environment yet still works equally well here, as those arriving for the late night salsa club stop to watch and get into the groove. He leaves to a well deserved ovation and we’re done for another month – proof that the Irish music scene is covering all bases very nicely.
The next State Faces Live show takes place at The Mercantile on March 8th with Carriages, The Clameens and Rocstrong.
Beach photographed by Olga Kuzmenko