Saturday night saw us return to Whelan’s and their perfectly formed upstairs venue for our Faces of May show, featuring one returning act and one so fresh that this is their second ever gig. Here To Help You Out have been on the State radar for a while but have been absent of late. There are some lovely dynamics on display tonight – not just of the quiet / loud variety but in the mix of styles, throwing in touches of indie pop, jazz and alternative rock. They could perhaps do with a little more stage time to boost their presence but it’s certainly good to have them back.
Beauty Sleep (pictured) may be brand spanking new but there are some familiar faces on show – Ryan and Cheylene are half of the splendid Wonder Villains, and have been doing the rounds with the likes of Pleasure Beach, Bee Mick See’s band and A Bad Cavalier. Throw in visual artist / bassist Aimee Williamson as part of a dance floor friendly rhythm section and you have a band who bely their tender gigging status, especially as a laptop malfunction means they are bereft of their usual extra audio muscle. In truth, we’re hard pressed to spot the difference. The musical lineage from their other projects is clearly there in the succession of stomping pop tunes.
While ‘The Dark’ offered hints of guitar dream pop, the Beauty Sleep live display is a rip-roaring, hip swinging experience that puts the band more in the indie dance camp than anything else. Trading vocals as well as guitars and synths, they are infectious in their exuberance and hugely impressive in the song department. Far from spreading themselves too thin, it looks like this particular Belfast hot house has produced yet another winner.
Photos: Kieran Frost