In these days of economic doom and gloom it’s good to know that, in music at least, your stock can still rise. Such is the case with Derry threesome Fighting With Wire. The past year has seen them release their debut album, sign a deal with Atlantic Records and perform at a host of leading European festivals, including Oxegen and Download. Somewhere in between they’ve also found time to play alongside current indie favourites Biffy Clyro and a plethora of other groups-du-jour. Now, armed with their catchy name, a stash of cool riffs and a pile-driving rhythm section, Fighting With Wire have decided its time to stand on their own two feet and undertake a headline tour.
Tonight’s stop-off at Think Tank is the third date in their diary and the venue is awash with skinny jeans, striped sweaters and carefully-tended fringes. In contrast, support act LaFaro appear to be a fairly work-a-day bunch but their quickfire, ballsy punk-rock is pleasing to the ear and sets the scene perfectly for the main event.
Fighting With Wire announce their arrival by launching directly into their sonic assault but the crowd seem oddly reluctant to approach the stage. It’s not until Cahir O’Doherty, the band’s affable frontman, implores them to come closer that bodies fill the vacant space at the front of the house. And while the whole scene looks a lot more comfortable from then on, a large portion of the audience still refuse to join in with the dedicated followers up front, who are dancing and swaying to their hearts’ content.
Not that the band seem to mind, however, and numbers such as -Make A Fist’ and -All For Nothing’ are delivered with an invigorating raw punk energy. Jamie King and Craig McKean work frantically as they lay down the foundation for O’Doherty to place his vocals and guitar as he screams and yelps his way through the lyrics, flinging himself carelessly around the stage as he does so. A storming version of -My Armoury’ receives an enthusiastic reception from the fans but the highlights of tonight’s show are undoubtedly -Everyone Needs A Nemesis’ and forthcoming single -Sugar’, which are greeted with a volley of cheers and screams as the crowd show their appreciation.
Departing the stage drenched in sweat, the threesome hang around afterwards to mingle with the fans and to greet some familiar faces. With a cache of quality tunes, a major label deal in the bag and a sojourn in the USA on the horizon, Fighting With Wire seem destined for greater things and tonight’s performance in the snug confines of Think Tank may be one of the last times they play a venue as small as this.
January 24th 2009.
Photos by Christine Redmond.