Up first it’s Fonda who since I saw them last have changed their bass player and look like they’ve added a swanky new moustache to the line-up too (drummer Patrick Bourke looking resplendent with his new look).
The changed line-up seems to have resulted in a more relaxed, looser approach on stage by the band however the music is still as engaging as ever. Particular highlights of the set are “Plastic Lemonade”, “Social Services” with a searing version of “Waltzing” closing proceedings Bourke’s epic drumming driving matters to a powerful conclusion.
Then it’s time for the main act Slow Riot who have shown great development in their studio releases since their debut single “City of Culture”. Right from the off the first thing that hits you is the noise that this 3 piece generate as they launch into the aforementioned track with a full-on acerbic assault and without pausing for breath segue straight into “Cooper’s Dream”. During these early songs they veer perilously close to overwhelming their superb sound, with Niall Clancy’s vocals in particular sometimes drowned in the cacophony.
There’s a brand new song (Found Nothing?) which is a welcome change of pace with its alternating rhythms, and judging by the reaction of the audience, a real crowd pleaser. We’re then treated to another musical one-two as the band effortlessly shift from the epic finale of “Adele” into one of their latest releases “Awake for Days”.
“Demons” is the penultimate offering on tonight’s playlist and is a perfect example of why Slow Riot have the potential to be a real force on the Irish music scene and beyond, striking the right balance between their sonic assault tendencies and obvious musical talent.
Immediately they reemphasise the point as they close the night with current single “Trophy Wife” which showcases Slow Riot at their very best; its a near perfect post-punk powerhouse with all elements of the band in perfect sync.
Certainly my first taste of Slow Riot live didn’t disappoint and if they continue to develop their live performances in the manner they have with their studio work then exciting times are ahead for them.