A Redneck Manifesto hometown Dublin show is always greeted with an air of gratitude. For the band are revered amongst their peers in the Dublin music scene as well as their loyal following. With the band members scattered around the world, Redneck gigs can be rare occasions after all.
Earlier this year, the band released their fourth album Friendship and quietly re-asserted their dominance over the array of post-rock and instrumental bands they inspired in their wake. Friendship not only re-established the band as one of the best groups in the country, it expanded the band’s oeuvre to the point where the band felt they could justifiably claim they were akin to “a psychedelic kraut-rock band jamming with The Meters”.
Despite the night’s difficult snow-driven weather conditions hampering the possibility of a capacity crowd, the always appreciative Rednecks led by the jovial Richie Egan on banter and bass, begin with a couple of reminders of glories past, ‘We Still Got It’, and ‘Please Don’t Ask Us What We Think Of Your Band’. Peppered generously amongst the setlist, the older songs stand up to the new, perhaps more focused material from Friendship like ‘Little Nose’, ‘Rubber Up’ and ‘Smile More’. A rare outing of ‘I Don’t Speak The Monkey Language, I Just Hear It’ from first album Thirtysixstrings is prefaced with an explanation about the song’s popular usage in BMX videos and is probably worth the price of admission alone for avid fans.
A typical Rednecks song in structure, loops and morphs anchored by drums and bass with deft and succint guitar passages riffing along. The addition of synthesizer melodies embedded throughout help remove the post-rock tag. Pace changes, melodies are assuaged by another and when the band settle on a commonality, it is in these unified moments that they captivate the most. In other words, “sick riffs dude”.
Before long, the moshspace in front of the stage increases, and despite the best effort of the venue security, persists. It leads to the highlight of the gig when during fan favourite ‘The Dillon Family Dancers’, the mosh swirl suddenly stops its sweaty masquerade of propelled bodies and begins to sweetly sing the ending guitar line in unison. Not many primarily instrumental bands can do that. They still got it alright.
Photos: Ian Pearce.
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