There’s a lot of buzz around Abbey Street this Saturday evening what with Errors taking over the Grand Social, MMOTHS much-anticipated EP launch in the Twisted Pepper, and Ham Sandwhich’s sold-out Academy show – even the ticket touts have come out to play for the latter. Meanwhile, the Academy 2 plays host to two-boy one-girl London-based trio We Have Band. Far from the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Irish music venues, it’s constantly in the gig-goers interest to arrive in the venue early to nab a coveted spot up front in the hope of actually seeing the show as opposed to just hearing it. A reward for such punctuality comes in the form of a support slot from Daithí, giving a taster of what to expect from his debut album – which if set-closer ‘In Flight’ is anything to go by is going to be an absolute cracker.
We Have Band are currently touring in support of their recently released second album Ternion, which boasts a much fuller sound that its predecessor – WHB was their calling card to attract attention, and now that they have that captive audience, there’s been room for exploration with Ternion. Taking to the stage clad in matching double-denim, the trio have certainly dressed sharply for the occasion. “Who are the band playing upstairs? Ham Sandwich?! Well, thanks for coming to join us instead!” says guitarist Thomas Wegg-Prosser. Despite their evident enthusiasm, it’s a slow start by – but early sound glitches are soon ironed out, and as Darren Bancroft takes the lead on vocal duty with the brilliant ‘After All’, We Have Band find their groove.
‘Divisive’, one of the standouts from the band’s 2010 debut, proves an early highlight, suitably followed up by a frantic rendition of ‘Watertight’. Electro disco-rock tends to be what We Have Band do best – but a surprise comes in the form of an impassioned performance of ‘Tired of Running’, the slowed-down pace and bass-driven melody allowing for the song’s refrains to shine. Fan-favourite ‘You Came Out’ closes the main set, Dede Wegg-Prosser taking the lead and also unleashing some admirable dance moves, kicking and thrusting her way around the stage, before getting up-close-and-personal with those in the front row.
We Have Band attempt to do the leave-the-stage encore formality but soon realise that this being the Academy 2 there is actually nowhere for them to go – instead, the trio give their drummer a break for a stripped-back version of ‘What’s Mine Is Yours’, and it’s a real shame majority of the crowd chose to chat over it. Shouts for ‘Honeytrap’ are ignored as the drummer resumes his position and the opening beats of Ternion lead single ‘Where Are Your People?’ kick in, before the song that started it all – the brilliant ‘Oh!’ – closes out the show with the audience on backing vocals. The rest of Europe awaits We Have Band in the coming months – but based on tonight’s performance, a return to Ireland come festival season would be very welcome indeed.
Photos: Alan Moore.