There’s always been a sense of reservation amongst the crowd in the Button Factory whether it’s the setting or the people. It’s something that’s addressed a couple of songs in tonight as drummer Conall Breachain, one half of We Cut Corners, politely insists the audience takes one big collective step forward. The band waste little or no time chit-chatting between songs, purposefully rifling through their burgeoning back catalogue. Cherry picking from their three albums to date, the quality of their song writing is staggering. Nugget after nugget of perfectly constructed pop pours from the stage delivered with the band’s trademark immediacy.
There’s an electricity between Breachain and guitarist John Duignan as they rattle through song after song. As there’s just the two of them, reproducing some of these songs in a live setting is a finely tuned balancing act, one they pull off with typically slick efficiency. Even the centre piece of their latest album The Cadences of Others, the epic ‘Oh’ is tackled. The version on the record sounds like it would be impossible for just two people to reproduce live, a couple of quick instrument changes from Breachain is all it takes to knock it into shape on the night.
On record, We Cut Corners stand out for their clever, concise lyrics and the dynamic created by their interchanging voices. In a live setting, it’s slightly different. With just guitar, drums and occasional synthesiser the band’s playing comes to the fore. We Cut Corners flip the standard pop/rock division of labour on its head. Usually the drums provide the back bone of a performance and the guitar, the expressive, decorative embroidery. In a live setting the majority of these songs are built on the subtlety of Duignan’s excellent guitar work. He sketches the outline to be coloured in by Breachain’s wildly enthusiastic drumming and powerful vocals.
The band rattle through a good chunk of their latest album, playing ‘Milk Teeth’, ‘Middle Kids’, as well the likes of ‘YKK’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Toll Free’ from their previous records. Fans are even treated to a couple of unexpected gems on the night. Covers of Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Mandinka’ and The Raconteurs ‘Broken Boy Soldiers’ go down a storm affording the band the opportunity to really let loose. There’s even a bit of busking as Breachain and Duignan leave the stage, venturing into the crowd armed with only acoustic guitars for a beautifully haunting run through ‘Of Whatever’. A disco ball lit vigil for the malady of indifference.
There are few bands around to rival We Cut Corners either live or on record.