Transmit Presents: Gacys Threads, ABandCalledBoy and Bullibymon
Wednesday 13th February 2013 – Limelight, Belfast
Three local, excitingly diverse bands such as these should bring in far more of a crowd that eventually straggle into the Limelight this chilly Wednesday evening. That said, Wednesday will never be a great night for gigs…still, it’s a damn shame.
Openers Bullibymon (how the eff is that pronounced anyway?) do their best to whip up the limited crowds enthusiasm. Four unassuming, beardy blokes, they shuffle onstage and immediately start to rock. Their Facebook page proclaims their “reverent passion for the heavy music”, which is abundantly clear. Their sound is all crunchy guitars with an often bewildering array of vocal styles – from clean to scream to growl, often within the one song! They are at once thrashy and doomy, a sort of ‘pissed off Sabbath’ meets ‘Pink Floyd if they went metal’. This is kitchen sink stuff, with several abrupt changes within songs. Final number ‘What’s That Skipper?’ is punkish-sounding, and ends a very wide-ranging set. Bullibymon are accomplished musicians but they need to hone their identity and sound, as their current efforts smack of ‘over-egging the pudding’.
“Hey everyone we’re ABandCalledBoy and we’re gonna play some music!” calls vocalist Ryan Burrowes from his position behind the drumkit. It’s actually hard to believe that this band are ‘just’ a trio, such is the huge volume level that erupts from the stage. Burrowes is a sight to behold, thrashing awkwardly away like a kid let loose on a ‘big boy’ drumkit, yet oddly, it works!
The band has a White Stripes/The Strokes vibe, with sometimes even a Madness-esque feel. But make no mistake – this is not safe rock ‘n’ roll! This is pop-punk on steroids; alt-rock with balls. The boys charge through songs both old and new, from ‘Friends’ and ‘Seize the Chair’, to crowd favourite ‘Take It In Paris’. Unlike Bullibymon, this band really knows their sound and stick with it. Ryan even remarks wryly at the end of their set, “thanks for pretending we were ok”, acknowledging the vast difference between their fierce pop-punk-rock and headliners Gacys Threads’ hardcore sound.
And so to our headliners! Gacys Threads have built a reputation as being a ferocious spectacle live, and they definitely start as they mean to go on tonight. Vocalist Aaron Vance storms the stage writhing and roaring, whilst the band (including new bassist Jonny Munro) ploughs through their back catalogue with vigour and passion. Disappointingly, the still-sparse crowd don’t really get involved, choosing instead to simply watch the band and applaud enthusiastically. It doesn’t stop the band playing like their lives depend on it, with frontman Aaron snapping and snarling, arching his back and beating his chest in a stlye rather reminiscent of Gallows’ Wade MacNeil.
The band gives us a taste of some new music with a (surprisingly melodic) new track, which predictably shakes the room with its visceral ferocity. Prior to final song ‘Black Heart’ Aaron thanks the crowd for staying to the death, before revving things up by commanding everyone to “have some fucking fun with this!” They then proceed to do exactly that, before exiting the stage spent, sweaty and smiling. Top show lads!