Live Review: Garageland Volume 1 Album Launch at the Button Factory

With Dublin being a music town, there’s no shame in feeling overwhelmed by the amount of budding acts out there. We all want to be the ones to say we were there when the next Hozier or Glen Hansard took the stage at the Button Factory. While it’s impossible to gather all the best onto the same stage, Garageland is trying to make that goal a little easier to reach, with a lineup of up-and-coming acts. To their credit, it has worked in the past, as their events such as The Garage Gigs and The Irish Youth Music Awards have launched bands like The Script, Hamsandwich, the dearly departed Fight Like Apes, and Kodaline. With a gig at the Button Factory, Garageland released their first album of budding Irish acts, everything from one-man acoustic singer-songwriters to full bands. While I can’t claim to see the future by any means, there were a few favourites in the lineup to keep your eyes on.

The selection of acts was all over the map, and at times the switch from acoustic folk act to full hardcore rock band was a little jarring, though in the end, the eclectic medley of genres only served as a reflection of what’s out there in the current music scene. Standouts include acoustic solo acts like that from Conor Walsh, whose deep and resonant vocals come as a surprise to those who haven’t yet seen him play live. In a similar vein was Rob Corcoran, flown in from London just for the gig. His wound filled the room with just his guitar and harmonica, and we were grateful to have him go the distance to play the gig. Dissension Rising turned up the volume with electrifying vocals and amplified guitar riffs that were unexpected and captivating, the kind that you really do need to see live.

The final act, the Klares, that’s Klares with a K, somehow managed to escalate the energy as they closed the night with an unstoppable set. Among the originals was a cover of “My Generation,” taking on a whole new, rather sobering note for us older audience members when played by the teenage band. The song has been passed down through the generations at this point, and the Klares kept the classic spirit of the tune with a modern twist reminiscent of The Strypes.

This album launch was a milestone for the Garageland project, and as they plan to host more gigs throughout Ireland and the U.K, it was a welcome preview of what the project still has in store.

 

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