You’re Only Massive, and yet the venue’s only tiny. Not only that, no one seems to know where it is. It depends where you read about it, it seems (and you can read about a previous article in State here.). Hideaway House is an ordinary suburban semi, sitting on Deansgrange Road, the leafy south-side’s answer to the Gaza Strip. It’s disputed territory, being claimed by both Blackrock and Deansgrange, with umbrella jurisdiction Dun Laoghaire thrown in just to confuse postal workers, taxi drivers and gig-goers alike.
Yet it’s here, where crisp packets blown on to front lawns and not rocket attacks will spark neighbourly disputes, that we find the benchmark venue for the new Dublin underground movement. So far, so good too – there’s no local noise-abatement society trying to close it down and a sense of community spirit abounds.
It’s all so civilised too. For a start, it kicks off at 6pm, while the early summer sun is still in the sky. Then, for the princely sum of €5, you walk in the front door, are greeted by You’re Only Massive’s Maebh Cheasty, handed a copy of her band’s new 7’, Under The Neon, then wander into the lounge to see who wants to break the party ice first.
Happily the ice is soon broken, albeit slightly awkwardly, by Babybeef. A.K.A. Sarah Carroll, she takes her place alone on the little stage, first with guitar and then behind a synth adorned with mini cow cut-outs. While a backing track pumps out sweet, jaunty dance-pop rhythms, Babybeef delivers a clutch of pretty ditties with repetitive hooks and vaguely sinister undertones, all of which makes for an absorbing spectacle. Naturally, with the whites of many curious eyes paying close attention to her every keyboard stab, it’s a tentative performance, but her songs more than stand up to silent scrutiny. We await the forthcoming Babybeef EP with eager anticipation.
There’s no such on-stage reticence with You’re Only Massive – almost everything this duo does is big, bold and barefaced cheeky. While the unnecessarily tall David Murphy, armed with guitar and laptop, plays chicken with the low ceiling, MC Maebh Cheasty risks carpet-burned kneecaps and Artex-bloodied knuckles to deliver a full-on, hyperactive performance no one shoehorned into this space is likely to forget.
Beginning their all-too-brief set with the German -Schlager’ version of in-yer-face single ‘Under The Neon’, Cheasty immediately forces the audience to face their legitimately-held fears with wild gesticulations and intense eye-contact, while the beats rage and Murphy’s effects-infected guitar goes on a sonic mystery tour. It’s all in the name of Saturday night fun, though; and when Maebh teaches us the idly-aerobic dance moves to ‘Sugar Shake The Cool Away’, thus our own reserve flutters out the window behind them.
As well as being infectiously energetic, Y.O.M. are unselfconsciously shambolic in their delivery, allowing them to simultaneously disarm, engage and thoroughly entertain. The hilarious ‘Booty’ features appropriately animated tush action which is both confrontational and ironic in its delivery; and when David swaddles his head in a scarf for the warped ‘Beep Beep’ and the -Fragrant’ version of ‘Under The Neon’, you almost wish for a police raid just to see what the Gardai would make of it. It’s unfathomably great fun.
Tonight is a triumph for Hideaway House; you’d love to keep this place a secret but its reputation will continue to grow until its audience outgrows it. It’s perfect too for You’re Only Massive’s single launch; witnessing Maebh belting out the brilliant ‘Here Is Home’, seems almost sentimentally appropriate. They’ll only get more massive.