And so we reach the half-way point in this year’s Faces monthly gigs. The Mercantile has seen some special performances over since January and there’s always the feeling that another one is just around the corner. We don’t have to wait long for it tonight as Amidships bring an intense atmosphere from the off. Stripped down to a three-piece for the evening, they deliver songs without an inch of excess on them and leave you punch drunk. It’s hard hitting stuff combined with an exquisite ear for melody and a stage presentation that draws you in.
Wild Promises are gentler but just as affecting. Asking the audience to suggest which of the setlist should make the next EP, they save the best till last with an Irish torch song spin on The Suburbs in ‘Ballymore’, received with suitable rapture and a mass of phones, all recording for Fan Footage. A band with true ambition, Wild Promises are on their way to something great.
To cap it off Plutonic Dust keep the guitars but trade the drums for beats and magnetic front-woman Veronica who takes the whole thing up to another level. Her raw, soul tinged vocals sound just like the kind of thing you’d hear sampled normally, except here we have a real live performer. They bring a poppy, house feel to things, giving us something to dance to as a balmy Saturday evening turns to night and a closing, disco style cover of ‘Psycho Killer’ sums them up perfectly. A fabulous trio of acts, and a wonderful crowd – joy all around.
The next State Faces is on July 11, which is a temporary shift to a Friday night.
State’s Faces of June were photographed for State by Kieran Frost.