- 30 Oct 17
Liam Gallagher gets the finger out, as The Strypes and TOUTS snap at his heels. Hangar-on: Pat Carty
There’s an airport in Lucan? It was news to me. We’re here for the second night of the inaugural Samhain Festival. Annie Mac, Le Galaxie, Kelly Anne Byrne and a load of other turntablists did the business on the Saturday, tonight is for rockers. We’re going to need some rockin’ too because the gaff is bloody freezing, punters are worried about potential sound problems as they shuffle from foot to foot – we’re in a hangar after all – but it all works out surprisingly well.
Derry’s TOUTS are up first. They were one of the Saturday highlights at this year’s Electric Picnic and they’re even better tonight. Imagine The Clash’s first album, only louder and harder - military drumming, trashing guitars, rumbling bass, spitted lyrics. ‘Saturday Night Scumbag’, ‘Go Fuck Yourself’, ‘Sold Out’, and ‘Bomb Scare’ are all delivered at about a thousand miles an hour. Guitar solos? Fuck that, we haven’t got the time. When one song goes on past three minutes, it’s almost like prog rock when compared to the rest of them. Never mind guitar strings, Matthew Crossan probably goes through a couple of guitar tuners a gig, such is the ferocity with which he abuses his telecaster. He also looks a bit like a cross between Fergal Sharkey and a young Steve Marriott, which helps. After a snatch of ‘The Auld Triangle’, a coruscating version of Van’s ‘Gloria’ ends with Crossan pointing his guitar at the crowd like a sniper’s gun, mowing us down. They’re brilliant.
Who is Ross Farrelly’s tailor? That suit is sharp as a blade. I’ve said it before but The Strypes seem to get better every time you see them. ‘Behind Closed Doors’, ‘Easy Riding’, and ‘Holidays’ are all winners from this year’s Spitting Image. ‘Angel Eyes’, from their first album, is now a beefed up cross between Led Zeppelin I and the harder edge of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, and finds room to quote from The Beatles’ ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’. I’m stood beside Today FM producer and DJ, Kate Brennan Harding, an Oasis/Gallagher nutter, whose help is invaluable later on when there are songs that I don’t recognise. She reckons that ‘Get Into It’, a QOTSA like number from their second album, Little Victories, is one of the best Irish songs of the last ten years. It’s good, but it’s not as good as ‘Great Expectations’, which is introduced with Lizzy’s ‘Cowboy Song’ riff. They finish out with ‘What A Shame’, ‘Still Gonna Drive You Home’, and ‘Scumbag City Blues’. I have to mention bass player Pete O’Hanlon. If the world ever runs short of amphetamine sulphate, we can most likely synthesise a replacement from O’Hanlon’s blood. He never stops jumping, like a chicken attempting a fire walk. He makes Wilko Johnson look like an arthritic librarian.