With daylight streaming in via the venue’s skylight and the audience making themselves comfortable on a variety of vintage furniture, the opening half hour of our Faces of June show has something of a festival feel. That’s compounded by a gorgeous opening set from Elephant, who draws us in with his subtle one man show. The highlight is probably an exquisite reworking of ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ that unlocks Phil Lynott’s sensitive side but in truth Shane Clarke is an enchanting prospect all round.
Basciville (pictured) have joined us from Wexford with a burgeoning reputation, thanks in no small part to their Blues In Red EP. Their soulful take on guitar rock transfers well to the stage, adding in some nice country style touches along the way. It’s polished enough to draw in a wider audience yet honest enough to mean that you wouldn’t mind if they did.
We get a lot of new bands passing through these doors but, even still, the fact that Not Monsters are playing only their eighth gig marks them out. The wealth of experience that they bring via their other musical lives as Punch Face Champions and Cfit means that they’re actually seasoned performers, but there’s an edge to what we see tonight that suggests the quartet are still finding their way. If that is the case we’re in for a treat as what’s there already is pretty special. Billed as – and on one track, literally – the head-on collision between the two bands they’re a formidable meeting of sheer power, melody and smart songwriting – all presented in a hugely entertaining manner. Without even a demo to their name, Not Monsters have already arrived. Get ready to run for cover.
State’s Faces of June photographed by Kieran Frost.