Born Only Yesterday EP launch with WASPS, NEWT & Gone All Year
Thursday 22nd September 2016 – The Eglantine, Belfast
Above the Eglantine Bar, Shizznigh Promotions’ Live Free sees four bands take to the stage to celebrate the release of Born Only Yesterday’s EP ‘The Eyes, The Heart, The Sin’.
Charlie Cairns and Danny McClelland’s WASPS opens the night as the fiery successor to the heritage of native rock giants ASIWYFA and LaFaro. A unique math-punk duo that is adaptive rather than influenced, the band take arena-worthy riffs and overclock their modern punk with complex rhythms that stretch their talented musicianship to its limits. A confident flex against the limits of modern rock, stand-out tracks like ‘Godzilla Is Dead’ channel the likes of Reuben and Death From Above 1979.
NEWT follow-up. The band’s first single ‘Climax’, which received its video release earlier in the year, is striking in its live performance. Brendan Gallagher and Kealan Toland’s strong, Bloc Party-esque guitar interplay is undercut by the rhythmic confidence of bassist Vincent Fahy and drummer Stephen Kelly. Throughout the set, jarring key and time changes are balanced delicately against the band’s all-round fearless competence as performers. Although math-rock in its basic settings, the band’s sound is a stone’s-throw from transcendental.
Despite the smaller venue, Gone All Year stay true to their characteristic pop-chart worthy sensibilities. The band’s sound has grown into something more anthemic since their pop-rock gained recognition in late 2014. Clearly adapted to the festival circuit, characteristic stage acrobatics become limited to jumping on the spot.
Yet the band makes the most of the small space with multi-part harmonies, pop hooks and the band’s own ceaseless energy for performance filling-out the room. With a dedicated following clear in the dancing crowd, the band’s enthusiasm stirs the audience for Born Only Yesterday’s arrival.
Midnight, Born Only Yesterday take to the stage celebrating the release of EP ‘The Eyes, The Heart, The Sin’ and the debut live performance of talented rhythmist James Orr with the band. Against confident, punched-out bass, the set’s backbone comes from drummer David Wolsey, who drives the post-rock with pavement-saw intensity.
Of course, the obligatory 90s cover comes in the form of Alice DeeJay’s ‘Better Off Alone’, reimagined as soaring, spirited alt-rock. Danny McClelland takes the Clubland anthem’s lyrics and delivers them with a Sunny Day Real Estate conviction. A cover that has to be seen to be believed.
“One more tune” is the dominating sound before the fast-paced ‘Hawaiian Tribal’ begins as an encore. With the track’s vocal harmonies, tribal rhythms and Sam Foote’s spiraling guitar-flair the night closes in a refreshing cascade of notes.
Although celebrating their EP launch, it was clear to see in Born Only Yesterday’s hugely spirited performance that this was not exclusively a technical launch. On-stage, surrounded by dedicated friends and dedicated listeners, this was a celebration of a band’s development; eager to mature, push its own limits and see its sound reach us. A pleasure to watch, and a pleasure to look forward to again.