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IMRO SHOWCASE

IMRO Showcase – Fred, Loophole, The Trigger Tapes, Goldster & Fusty – Nancy Spain’s, Cork

Mark O'Sullivan, 12 Apr 2001



IMRO Showcase – Fred, Loophole, The Trigger Tapes, Goldster & Fusty

Nancy Spain’s, Cork

My earliest memory of the cello’s inclusion in a Cork band was back in the heady days of Five Go Down To The Sea, when the RTE Orchestra released from its ranks a certain feisty lady for the odd foxer with Donnelly & Co. These days, the instrument’s presence at local showcases is almost as ubiquitous as it is welcome, its subterranean tone lending a strange beauty and gravitas to the work of a number of local bands like Boa Morte and the Token Mellow Band.

The cello also features prominently in the Trigger Tapes line-up. Or at least it is meant to. Unfortunately, it mostly plays truant from the mix, turning up now and then like a mischievous child only to slip out of earshot once more. The Trigger Tapes’ set follows that of Goldster & Fusty. Their sound is mellow and congenial, the songs being acoustically led for the most part, capped by an earnest vocal which, sadly, drifts in and out of hearing almost as wilfully as the cello.

The PA is just as ungenerous to Loophole’s vocals. Still, this is an unsigned band that has so obviously got its shit together, it can only be a matter of time before the A & R men come calling. Their sound is not dissimilar to that of Marilyn Manson or Nine Inch Nails, but remains resolutely their own. Songs like ‘Coward’, ‘Steal’ and ‘Favourite Sin’ are driven by a thunderous rhythm section, while Alan Walsh’s guitar playing is particularly skillful.

Loophole more than justify their presence so high up the bill, but there is no better outfit to round off the evening that local heroes Fred. If Fred was an individual, he’d be the life and soul of the party, the kind of guy who’d put fun in a funeral. As it transpires, Fred is six such individuals, bringing all manner of subversive mirth to the show.

Fred are as gallant and gifted a band of warriors as has ever defended the spirit of rock’n’roll-your-own.

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