We’re one of the first in the doors of Tramline, but it’s not long until we’re joined by a sizable crowd – an excited one.
The line up tonight is made up of three highly esteemed bands, the first of which are Dublin based duo SYLK. These girls have been steadily carving a name for themselves on the circuit with their gothic electro / coldwave sounds and visually catching live show. Their use of lights (and typically smoke machines, though these are missing tonight) create a fitting atmosphere for their ethereal set and really add an extra layer to their offering. The crowd were attentive through their performance which included their songs ‘NW YR’ and ‘Cigarettes and Sex’ as well their own take on Eurythmics ‘Sweet Dreams’.
Up next are Derry rockers Susie Blue who bring their garage rock sound in a big way. These guys have a sound something like The Pixies meet Weezer with their frontwoman’s vocals calling to mind those of Cerys Matthews and sometimes Karen O. Courtney Barnett is an obvious but suitable comparison. Leaving the stage to join the crowd in a dance during one song and encouraging audience participation in singing along to ‘If they don’t like us, they don’t like people like us’, these guys know how to capture an audience.
Little One come to the stage and play us 2 tracks as a five piece before being joined by now resident singer Faustina Finnerty, who was originally guest vocalist on their single L/0. Their opening track is an instrumental which recalls the likes of Tycho and sets the tone for the evening showcasing their complex layered sound. Faustina’s vocals feature prominently on the bands singles thus far - ‘Corner’, ‘L/0’ and their newest offering, ‘The Habit’. Her soft voice sits perfectly among the tight rhythms, decorative guitar and textured keys.
The band offer us a range of new material alongside these favourites which leaves us excited for future releases. With elements of shoegaze, post-rock and trip-hop all present, Little One show us not only their impeccable level of musicianship but also display their excellent songwriting and arrangement skills.
Zach Douglas over the course of their set switches between 5 string electric bass and synth bass – giving us an impressive solo at one point which he himself was clearly - and rightly - proud of as the crowd went wild. Undeterred by a broken guitar string, Sean McManamon soldiered on valiantly and played excellently off fellow guitarist John Sheils who employs his pedals to great effects. Drummer Rob Kennedy keeps the tempo with an unconventional and inventive approach and Sam Doogan on keys brings an interesting array of sounds which further helps in setting them apart from their peers.
They leave the stage after an impressively assured set, only to be coaxed back on by a crowd clearly wanting more (I had heard rumours of a Biggie Smalls/ The Strokes mash up cover they had done when they were younger, but alas against all hopes it was not included in their digestif). They end their encore to rapturous applause and have us convinced that they are ones to keep our eyes on.