- 03 Sep 19
Rock N' Roll Rises Again On The Third Day
There are few things more exciting in rock n’ roll, in fact, scratch that, there is nothing more exciting in rock n’ roll than a guitar and bass and a set of drums locked in together and heading in the same direction. Sure, you can bang a tea tray off a concrete block or set fire to your head or buy another loop pedal but you can’t beat the magic formula, a rock n’ roll band rocking and rolling. TOUTS are instinctively aware of this and proceed to batter the living shite out of the Rankin’s Wood stage on the final day of Electric Picnic 2019.
Feel the thump off the opening ‘Overworked & Underpaid’, like an Orwellian jackboot stamping on a face in perpetuity. “We’re from Derry, up the road!” is the roar from Matthew Crossan, or at least I think that’s what he said, his accent is thick, as in rich, and sometimes hard to decipher and this is coming from a man with a midlands accent that’s flatter than les Pay Bas. ‘Radio’ puts their manifesto on the line: “There’s too much shite on the radio.” Frankly, you don’t even need to turn on a wireless, have a walk around to some of the bigger stages and see the saccharine and safe goings-on - TOUTS have more vitality in the lint in their pockets. There’s a song that has something or other to do with Frosty Jack’s super-strength cider, a delight that can apparently lead to early death if The Mirror is to believed – and there’s a first time for everything – which has yet to make it across what was once, and soon probably will be again, called the border. It starts off fast and then, as the rocket fuel hooch kicks in, speeds up. Jason Feenan beats the drums like they gave his name to the police.
‘Can’t Blame Me’ sounds like The Jam on even more speed than The Jam were on in the first place, and Weller would smile at ‘Pretentious Revolutionary’ too. Little wonder the Modfather has done a bit of work with these lads, for there’s a lot he should recognise here. If he had grown up on the banks of the Foyle, then the bouncy bass riff and double-time drums of ‘Losing It’ might have turned up on In The City. Crossan goes straight up his Telecaster fretboard into ‘Working For The Weekend’ which veers between riffs that would cut you for a fiver and dampened chords. He then goes into a little speech about people, including himself, being wrecked at festivals but Luke McLaughlin’s bass interrupts him, telling him to get back to business.
‘Sold Out’ is something like the howl of pain you let out when you catch your finger in the car door, and if you think all the shops are sold out now, just wait until October 31st, etc, etc. McLaughlin has his bass in the air, being all iconic, during ‘Mickey’ – “he’s a dirty, stinking TOUT!” It occurs to you, as it always does watching this band, that if we are close to running out of guitar riffs after several decades of rock then nobody bothered “informing” – see what I did there? – these lads. If there was a band left at all that had any hope of inspiring people to throw their phones in the river, smash their computers, buy a guitar, and try pulling the whole thing down – you know, what bands are supposed to be doing – then these lads might at least know where they are.
TOUTS finish with ‘Bombscare’, one of the greatest singles of the last few years, by anybody. Critics are falling over themselves to heap praise on the current wave of Dublin guitar bands but there isn’t one of them – alright, Fontaines DC’s ‘Boys In The Better Band’ is up there – that has a single in their arsenal as monumentally great as this. “Fuck the system, that made me a victim” Crossan puts the guitar down and storms off. Some people are play acting, some people are the real thing. Incendiary.