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Live in Derry
This is a band bubbling and bristling with intelligent musical and literary references. Bowie, the Stripes, Cockney Rebel, Madness, D. H. Lawrence, the Wasp and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Eamonn McCann, 29 Mar 2004
Rory Moore, divine diva of Spiderhand the last time I looked, spasms onstage like the coolest mutant superhero presently defying natural law, head swathed in crimson stocking and wing-mirror shades topped with an elongated homburg, pipe-cleaner body enclosed in concertinaed semmit, limbs awhirr on independent suspension. Then, drummer Philip Wallace, cased in yellow and purple plastic, fresh in from the Planet of the Cats. Jonny the Funk (bass) Dermot Mc Gowan (keyboards) and Ciaran Duffy (guitar) in daringly ordinary jeans and careful unkempt hair. They come from New Capris, Binlids and the like, but don’t sound or look like anything exactly reminiscent. Supercharged country punk crossed-dressed with Berlin circa 1928, all in hard rock wrapping, with a sound gorgeously aggressive so you sometimes want just the intro to assail you forever. Plus they have a couple of cracker songs.
Nothing is for certain in the mad bad world of rock and roll. But there’s a buzz quivering the mush of the unfeasibly jammed Waterloo Street venue of maybe being in at the beginning of something musically momentous. We shall see.
This is a band bubbling and bristling with intelligent musical and literary references. Bowie, the Stripes, Cockney Rebel, Madness, D. H. Lawrence, the Wasp and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A thunderous disciplinarian of a drummer, glittering shards of guitar, deep down and ominously dirty bass, keyboards that well up oceanically to lift the mix aloft. A beautiful noise with a snarl on its face. Sexy as fuck.
Moore is the front-man Steve Mack might have been had he been more authentically rooted. It’s a measure of his musical deftness that although he’s the entrancing cynosure pin-pointed at the centre of stage and sound, he’s never for an instant out of step and can howl in perfect pitch. A feis judge would mention diction, intonation. He’s laugh-out-loud funny when he wants to be, and deadly serious about everything withal.
‘Isle Of Death’ (I think it was called) is a cert-ifiable single. ‘Take Me, Take Me (I Want To Be Your Boy Tonight)’ still bounces round the brain on the staggery glide home. They’re gigging like goodo around the North right now. Get it while you can, it may not be there tomorrow.