The Northern Irish music scene has been spewing out classy acts of all shapes and genre splitting sizes for some time now. So much so that the very prospect of seeing an unknown band from up-north is tantalising these days. However we were thoroughly disappointed with the bland discharge of Belfast quartet Levity Breaks. Despite Marty McLoughlin's, Vedder style vocals we could not stomach The Fray B-Side style of the songs. With the piano parts in particular unbearably cheesy.
It's been a while since we've seen Zombie Cops, live and they have obviously been hard at work on their sound. They have morphed into a much darker outfit. They seem to have worked hard on their vocal harmonies and the guitar sound in particular has become richer and thicker. However, the influence of Placebo, Incubus and QOTSA is still evident .
Singles "Win Some Loose Some" and "You Do" are the highlights of their compositions. While newer material indicates that, future releases are to be welcomed. One of the things that sets Zombie Cops apart from their contemporaries, is their ingenious choice of covers. Including Human League's "Don't You Want Me Baby". Tonight's cover is the highlight of the evening. A mash-up of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and Aloe Blacc's "I Need A Dollar".
I Phoenix took to the stage and delivered a high octane performance of modern alt-rock. Sonic Youth are an obvious influence especially noticeable in Conor Wilkins vocal delivery. While the guitar riffs are reminiscent Of QOTSA and Biffy Clyro and The Cure's darker moments. At times however, it was a struggle to hear Wilkins, vocals over the band. When he delivered the songs in a Thurston Moore style. This may not be a reflection on Wilkins, ability to project his voice though. As Crawdaddy is notorious for its bad sound quality.
Formed in 2008 Kildare quartet I Phoenix, have recently added new guitarist Ste Devine, to their ranks. And it's easy to see why they needed needed one. The riffs are quickfire and complicated with touches of math-rock and prog evident. Devine, has also become the visual focal point of the band, as he jumps around like a man possessed, living every note. And his high energy performance is matched by his proficiency as a guitarist.
Highlights of their set included "Fade and Erase", "Tremors" and "Night Sparks", which you can see the video for below. If you like it, I would highly recommend you check out I Phoenix live.