It’s a Friday night and Love Live Music Day is celebrating the end of its first birthday. It’s been a day that’s seen events take place from Derry to Bantry, mainly taking in the world of classical, folk and jazz music. As with last year, State is flying the flag for the, shall we say, louder end of things. At the moment, that means Cork band KVX. Recommended to us by Aoife Barry of Sweet Oblivion, their short set turns out to be the revelation of the night. The five piece mix alternative power pop with time changes worthy of TV On The Radio, gorgeous female harmonies and bass lines that wouldn’t be out of place on an Iron Maiden record. Even better, their songs are superb, especially the likes of ‘Graphs’ and ‘Lights Out, New Lantern’. Put it this way, the last time we were so excited by seeing a new Irish band was right here last year, when Cast Of Cheers played this very event. That they are this good this soon is almost frightening.
Laura Sheeran is another new name on the State block, and one who also seeks to carve out her own sound. To be honest tonight doesn’t really do her justice, as the array of sounds and instruments are thwarted by sound and technical problems. It’s a huge shame because there’s obviously a real talent at work here, bringing a fresh approach to the world of electronic (we’d rather watch someone play a saw than stand there, prodding at a laptop). Let’s just put this down to one of those nights and investigate her debut double album Lust Of The Pig And The Fresh Blood.
Unlike the first two acts, The Danger Is seem to have emerged onto the scene almost fully formed. Their live show is a polished affair and one that draws a large crowd that know the songs word for word. It’s all hugely impressive but sometimes you wish that they would take a few more chances, explore the more experimental side of their sound. Those moments tend to come when Niamh Farrell stops playing the guitar and really shines as a frontwoman. Like KVX, though, they have come a long way in a short space of time and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if they don’t turn out to be one of our favourite bands of the year.
RSAG is an old hand compared to what’s gone before this evening, but he still manages to pull a surprise out of the bag under his Soundsystem alias. Teaming up with The Kilo 1977, the duo manage to bring a new dimension to the standard DJ by adding live percussion. Not only is watching someone play the drums for an hour and a half non-stop quite incredible, it’s also all huge fun. The tunes range from dance and hip-hop to old school classics such as The Specials, all of which see out the birthday party with a rocking dance floor. A night that once again proved the range and depth of live talent in this country, and one that just maybe introduced us to potential greatness. Job done then.
Photos: Kieran Frost