Gin Graze with support from Michael Carlisle, Basic Translation and Superfiction
Saturday 29th December 2012 – Auntie Annies, Belfast
Kicking things off at Auntie Annie’s Belfast for Gin Craze is singer songwriter Michael Carlise. Treating us to an acoustic set Michael opens with a song he wrote called ‘Déjà vu’. The small crowd immediately turn to face the dimly lit stage area to take in every aspect of the beautifully sung song. His next one is difficult to identify at this stage since it has no name but he has decided to nickname it with the quite apt “cheesy love song”. Michael then surprises the small crowd with a cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ which inspires a quite enjoyable sing-a-long with Michael, there is another twist in the tale as he works in some 50 Cent’s ‘Candy Shop’ into the bridge. It is an accomplished set tonight despite some very disruptive tuning issues.
Gracing the stage next is the very young yet extremely talented four piece grunge band, Basic Translation. Opening their set with a Nirvana inspired song packed with anger filled lyrics that deserve to be yelled back by an equally angry mob of teenage misfits. Ciara King is a front woman with balls, seemingly modest yet confident and proves herself worthy of this status throughout the entire performance. ‘Satisfied’ – a song bursting with early 90’s sounding grunge, allows the band and the punters to mosh in this sweaty venue. If grunge is dead it has certainly been resurrected by this young band here tonight. Startling the crowd with a cover of Benny Benassi’s dance hit ‘Satisfaction’, putting their own Basic Translation stamp on it of course. Many punters sing-a-long when they can as lyrics are being growled out by Ciara, the band seem to enjoy this cover every bit as much as the small crowd have. Their set continues with ‘La de da,’ an alternative sounding song almost with an Alanis Morisette feel to it, goes down really well here tonight the very rocky chorus should be shown appreciation in the form of a huge mosh pit. Finishing their set with newest song ‘Outta my head’ a song packed to the brim with grungy goodness, it seems like we will be hearing much more of Basic Translation as 2013 progresses.
Next up is five piece classic rock band Superfiction, fronted by over the top front woman Kat in her towering heels. Opening with ‘Friends with Benefits’, the upbeat song gets a few dedicated fans up dancing and singing-a-long. Kat feels restricted in her mega high shoes so decides to change into her trainers for the rest of the performance, she certainly looks more comfortable and this wardrobe change gives the crowd a few giggles. Continuing with songs ‘Holding On’, a much slower rock song and ‘June’ a massive favourite amongst Superfiction fans who move down to the front to bust some moves. ‘Days Gone By’ proves to be a popular one tonight, as is ‘Death In The Press.’ Kat explains it’s a song about all the talentless people from reality shows getting famous for no reason. The band are very concise and tightly woven but sometimes sound like they could be a wedding band, that is definitely apparent when the band cover Guns’n Roses Paradise City but the punters here tonight have enjoyed the set as every bit much as Superfiction seemed to enjoy performing.
Finally taking their place on-stage is four-piece band Gin Craze, exploding onto the stage with a funky intro, allowing us – the punters to be treated to the instrumental talent of the band’s drummer David, Guitarist Adam and bassist Michael before beginning first song Roll up. Sounding very heavily influenced by The Doors shaken up with some 60’s soul and even some rap, vocalist Brian Horner has more than a pinch of Jim Morrison’s poetic yet rock like swagger about him. Brian seems to want to incorporate every handheld instrument possible throughout the set as he begins with maraca shaking to rival that of Ian Brown then dons a tambourine and a glockenspiel during the set. There are more than a few Gin Craze fans amongst the crowd tonight as seem to know the words and help out on vocal duties. The guys seem to have a real happy go lucky presence on stage as they just let go and enjoy themselves. Joining in with tonight’s trend of covering songs, Gin Craze do a fantastic version of The Doors ‘Backdoor Man’, with Brian’s funky dancing certainly keeps the crowd interested. As the band draw their set to a close with their staple closer, ‘Drive,’ there aren’t too many attendees leaving unsatisfied tonight.