Distracter with support from Heavy Set Bayonet
Sunday 15th July 2012 – Auntie Annies, Belfast
Opening the E.P launch in Auntie Annies for Distracter is a four piece band describing themselves as the ‘The lankiest band in Derry’; playing their first live gig in almost a year is Heavy Set Bayonet. They implode onto the stage with a set bursting with dynamic guitar riffs from guitarist Matthew McGilloway, ballsy bass lines from bassist Martin O’Carroll and aggressive drum beats from Christian Donaghey. Lead singer Damien McLaughlin is oozing with swagger identical to that of Arctic Monkeys front man Alex Turner, a band that that Heavy Set Bayonet seems to be heavily influenced by. It is very noticeable in songs such as ‘Beef’ and ‘Pure beaut’ which even has a drum beat echoing the one found in the Arctic Monkeys hit ‘Brianstorm.’ Though the boys seem to shake it up creating a sound of their very own and receiving an amazing reception from the small crowd of punters that have already gathered to chant and sing along to the words. As the set goes on the music gets heavier, yet it is still incredibly danceable as the crowd continue to bust a few moves. After a few technical difficulties the band returns to the stage for their encore. They finish up their set with songs ‘Thorns’ and ‘Appetite’ that almost sound like early White Stripes material. Finally, the guys thank Distracter for letting them be part of this EP launch and off they go into the night.
Taking to the stage to launch their E.P ‘Clear’ is Distracter – an alternative, dark electronic rock band. They sound somewhat like the ‘XX’ going grunge, with their heavy deep bass lines, mellow vocals and grungy guitars. The band begin by using electronic synth-like sounds that don’t go down exceptionally well with the now large crowd that has gathered in this petite venue. During the second song lead singer Robin Reagan lifts up his guitar to the high heavens as the band begin to play some rock n’ roll the good old fashion way – with vocals sounding similar to Ocean Colour Scene’s Simon Fowler. The band even look so much more comfortable playing songs such as ‘Capital song’, the punters also seem to enjoy these songs a lot more as they continue to dance along or just observing in awe. Distracter go on to do a cover of a song by grunge band ‘The Posies’ which sends the crowd into a frenzy as they chant the words back enjoying every moment. The band go back to their electronic sound to play new songs off the E.P – Namely ‘Clear’ and ‘The Contortionist’ – the latter being a song that is packed with an eclectic mix of rock, alternative and even blues. The band continue to their encore, a song called ‘Blip’ that shows off guitarist Neill Matchett and bassist Peter Matchett’s combined talents fantastically. After a shaky start the band seems to have pulled a great performance out of the bag as they gained confidence and began to build a rapport with the crowd.