The Sun Shadows – Pictures in the Clouds EP launch
Friday 14th March 2014 – Voodoo, Belfast
Belfast’s music scene never ceases to amaze, offering a huge variety of very different genres that ensures there is always something for everyone. There is however a massive interest in the indie/mod scene here in the city and that’s why it wasn’t a surprise to see Voodoo packed to the rafters for the launch of The Sun Shadows debut EP ‘Pictures in the Clouds.’
An impressive line up is arranged for the night ahead and kicking things off is indie rock quartet Two-Tone Revolver. The lads who are straight out of school get the crowd loosened up with an extremely well rehearsed set-list that includes their own material amongst a few interesting covers. ‘The Black Keys – Lonely Boy’ a very Arctic Monkeys inspired cover of Drake’s ‘Hold On We’re Going Home’ & Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ dressed up with a Rock-a-billy twist there’s no doubt they made the songs sound like their own. The punters can’t help but allow their curiosity to bring them further to the front to hear more groovy 60’s style riffs, assuring the night started off with a bang.
The DJ ensures the punters spirits stay up blasting out indie favorites’ from Kasabian and Primal Scream as Pretty Cartel take their place on stage. Hailing from Lisburn the PC lads have been leaving their mark on the MOD scene in Belfast for sometime, proven by the fact there are a few fans in tonight as the crowd begins to grow. ‘She’s The One’, and ‘Twisted Soul’ see many of the now merry crowd beginning to throw some shapes in appreciation as well as singing along. Other favorite’s from PC’s ‘Tales of the working class’ EP go down great, this band just seem to get better each time they perform. Vocalist Dee McIlroy grows in confidence too and has the definite front-man swagger every great Rock’n’Roll band front-man should have. We can also expect an album from Pretty Cartel this summer, exciting times ahead for these lads.
The rock’n’roll theme continues the Echo Raptors burst onto the stage; they may be young but they already have an impressive musical CV. They’ve opened for some of indies big wigs like the Happy Mondays and the Charlatans and at this point if you haven’t heard of these guys, one might assume you’ve been living under a rock. From the second the lads begin their set it is apparent they’re doing exactly what they were born to do. Vocalist/Guitarist Phil Rainey has an element of Richard Ashcroft about him as he belts out ‘She’s So Free’ and ‘Change My Way.’ ‘Bite the Wire’ showcases his smooth vocals along with the bands 60’s and 90’s inspired Rock’n’roll; are a match made in heaven. A few new tracks are thrown into the set tonight and go down exceptionally well with fans both new and old and hearing the new tracks confirms the Echo Raptors are masters of their craft, obviously there is big influence from the Verve, Cast and even The Who but they know exactly how they want to sound and are great at what they do.
As the Charlatans ‘The Only One I Know’ finishes playing, a massive crowd has now pushed their way to the front. An array of cheers and wolf-whistles welcome The Sun Shadows on stage. You’d be forgiven if you feel like you’ve been transported back to the 1960’s as many of the band members have that Mod look about them. The punters are treated to tracks from the new EP ‘Pictures in the Clouds. ‘Before Your Eyes’ & ‘See the Stars’ show off powerful heavy riffs, memorable choruses’ and philosophical – well written lyrics sang by Aaron Craig. There is no denying the Oasis and Beatles influence, although the lads have channeled their sound they have turned it into their own unique style shaking it up with a Belfast twist by using slang and references to people and places here. A surprise cover of The Undertones – Teenage Kicks gets a great reception from the crowd. Dancing the night away the crowd are enjoying every minute as much as the lads are enjoying playing for them, the stage presence is somewhat professional for a relatively new band. ‘Until We Meet Again’ & ‘No More Make Believe’ allow the boozy crowd to get involved, clapping along to the funky beat and grooving to the psychedelic guitar riffs. The lads look and sound like they’ve been doing this for a long time and it’s been great hearing good honest Rock’n’Roll, the standard has been set high in Belfast tonight. Someone should warn Alex Turner!