by / February 16th, 2016 /

State’s Faces of February – Whelan’s, Dublin

We’ve been doing our Faces live shows for a while now but the beauty of them is they never cease to amaze. Maybe it’s the move to Whelan’s, maybe it’s the buzz of a late night, maybe it’s just that the scene we’re highlighting is so damn strong right now – whatever, this might just be one of the best shows we’ve put on. Ever.

It certainly gets off to a rip roaring start thanks to The Witch Trials. While it may say psychedelic rock on the tin, there’s plenty more to be found inside – with the combination of rhythms and driving sax even giving a hint of Afrobeat at times. It’s wild, at times ragged, stuff but is genuinely exciting. A real find.

AE Mak come to us with a burgeoning profile (they’ve just headed up the road from supporting Pleasure Beach at the Workman’s) and we’re keen to see what they have to offer in depth. It’s lots, as it turns out, and there’s plenty more great songs where ‘I Can Feel It In My Bones’ came from. The music never sits still for a second and Aoife and Ellie front the like no-one else at the moment, their fearless attitude hooking you in from the start.

Katie Laffan, meanwhile, just keeps improving, getting more confident and thus raising her live game. The magic happens as soon as she starts each song and drops into a bold, but warm and often tropical sound leaning on reggae and a touch of hip-hop but carving out her own sound in the process. She’s the quiet kid at the back with the subtle jokes and the right answers and that’ll take her far, mark our words.

Faces of February shot for State by Kieran Frost.