Breaking Bands #1
Saturday 12th April 2014 – Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast
A lot of things can be said about how beneficial the Oh Yeah Music Centre has been to our local music scene and this new event will only add to that. Half of the battle for bands is getting those all important support slots and gigs to get their names and more importantly music out there. Now thanks to Breaking Bands they can take to the stage along with other upcoming bands and showcase themselves.
Tonight’s opener, Matthew Duly may be cheating a little as the Whitehead man does have some experience in gigging albeit as front man for Sons of Encouragement. Despite claims that all his songs are about his tendency to be mopey and sad, Matthew is very engaging with his audience. Key to his set is ‘Ghost in your Memory’ which should be swiftly moved from demo to proper recording at his earliest convenience.
Paper Man have received critical acclaim from Across the Line and the Thin Air and on tonight’s performance it is easy to see why. Despite having recently become a three-piece their alt-rock sound has lost none of its edge. Granted their set is cover heavy with Feeder, MGMT and Nirvana all receiving the Paper Man treatment but that is to be expected for such a young band. ‘Collisions’ could well have been written by local heavy weights A Plastic Rose and ‘Eyes’, the other track from their After Effects EP demonstrates that they should be more than confident to go with their own material and for go the covers.
The mystery act on tonight’s bill is undoubtedly Rhinos with their scarce online presence ensuring attendees have no idea what to expect. What we do get is in your face, garage punk and for just a two piece they sure know how to make a racket. Paul Currie is a proper front man, plenty of on-stage moves and crowd interaction (at times a bit too much it must be said). Laura Totten is a beast on the drum kit, she takes no prisoners and her own vocals give the band’s sound a further edge. Think the sleazy riffs and noise of The Jesus Lizard crossed with the vigour of Black Flag and you’re pretty close.
Patrick Wright must be nervous about following up such a raucous set from Rhinos but the man behind Mere Moths obviously has nerves of steel. Perhaps in an attempt to latch onto the energy in the room he includes two covers; Master & Dog’s ‘Canada’ and a rousing rendition of Foo Fighter’s ‘Everlong’. More to the point tonight is the launch of his new EP and yet again it must be said that the tracks from it are more than strong enough to hold together his set. There are hints that Patrick belongs to the Conor Oberst song-writing school of thought and this is no bad thing at all. While it is undoubtedly a stripped back and chilled performance, ‘You Grew Up’ is majestic and points to a deep rooted ability to craft intricate and moving melodies.
We can only commend the Oh Yeah Music Centre & Matchetts Music for putting together Breaking Bands, it genuinely is a brilliant showcase of new bands and musicians. Hopefully local promoters and punter take the time to attend each month and realise that there are quite a few undiscovered gems waiting to be exposed.