- 19 Apr 19
Alt-rock band PowPig and folk artist Junior Brother brought out their unique musical styles during a double headline gig at The Grand Social on Thursday night.
PowPig, the Limerick-based band comprised of teenagers Anne Marie Rooney, Andrea Mocanu, Laura Drennan and Leah O'Donnell, kicked off the show with a jolt of youthful energy.
The band played songs from their EPs, 2017's Denture Adventure and 2018's Buzz Buzz, as well as their new quadruple A-side single with Junior Brother. Despite a slight false start at the beginning of the show, each member of PowPig proved themselves to be entertaining and talented musicians and performers.
Some highlights of PowPig's set included 'Pretty Woman', 'Ode to Wiseau' and 'Birds of Paradise'. 'Rosalee' brought a welcome change of pace and allowed the band to show a different side to themselves The band's fast-paced rock sensibilities are elevated by their off-kilter yet controlled vocals, which walk the line between dissonant and melodic.
Junior Brother, armed with his tambourine and guitar and accompanied by Tony McLoughlin (mandolin) and Fiachra Meek (bodhran/whistle), took the stage after a short break. The Kerry folk artist announced his upcoming debut album, Pull The Right Rope, earlier this week, so the gig gave an opportunity to hear some songs (including 'Full of Wine', 'I Told You I Would Leave' and 'Girth & Plain') off the LP ahead of it's release next month.
If any of the new songs Junior Brother, aka Ronan Kealy, performed are any indication, Pull The Right Rope will be a worthy debut album for an artist whose often experimental approach to folk music yields music that is engaging, emotional, funny and unpredictable, especially when experienced live.
Some standouts in Junior Brother's set were 'I Told You I Would Leave', for which the beautiful uilleann pipe was brought out by one of the band members, and fan favourite 'Hungover At Mass'. 'You Make A Fine Picture', off of his EP Fuck Off I Love You, also scored a big reaction from the audience. The song captures Kealy's lyrical creativity and prowess, as he sang lines like "Total inebriation, exhaust and moans whisper up the field / A word I heard from the road's bend of a body and horse spread across the tracks." Junior Brother finished the show on a satisfying note with 'Full of Wine'.
Combining the forces of Junior Brother and PowPig for a co-headlining gig made for a great night of fresh talent. Both sets showcased the artists' originality and talent, and hearing two very different approaches to music was refreshing and enjoyable.