- 16 Oct 17
Featuring a formidable bill that could make the Norse Gods of Valhalla slam down their flagons of mead and slur “You know, this could actually be too much fun for us,” it comes as no surprise to learn that tickets for tonight's show are as hard to find as an entertaining five minutes of, well, anything on the E! Channel.
Packed to the rafters with pubescent teens, parents, punks and your humble Hot Press correspondent, we arrive just in time to see Over Being Under lay waste to Fibber Magee's stage.
Taking a Chinese burn-like approach to “warming the crowd up”, the Dubliners' go straight for the jugular from the get go. Muscular and at times sounding absolutely monstrous ('Starving'), the five piece have a little Walter Schreifels and Chino Moreno in their musical DNA and their short, sharp set showcases an emo and post hardcore-flecked band with bags of potential.
On the subject of potential, next up is L.A. four-piece the Regrettes. Since the release of their debut Feel Your Feelings Fool! at the start of the year, it's been a case of “when” not “if” the act crack the big time with their Detroit Cobras, Be Your Own Pet and Bikini Kill informed, ridiculously enjoyable racket and we were keen to see if they could deliver the goods live. Undeterred by the fact that they're basically bathed in darkness, they open with 'I Don't Like You,' a track that's as snotty as a nursery during peak sniffle season. Sounding rawer than on record (always a good thing in this reviewer's book), the hook laden fusion of '50s garage and punk rock is an unbeatable combination and the likes of 'Hey Now' and 'Juicebox Baby' are a joy.
There are some missteps in their set though, particularly when frontwoman Lydia Night says to the crowd “Do you know what a mosh-pit is? Well what the fuck are you waiting for?” While we're hoping it was meant as harmless encouragement, in reality it comes across as a petulant demand and the 16year's old youth/immaturity betrayed her on this occasion (her band are playing as a support act in front of around 100 people after all, not headlining Croke Park).
There's no denying that Night as a songwriter, singer and crowd-surfing front-lady has boundless promise however, and her body positive, patriarchy-bothering lyrics are a welcome (and much needed) breath of fresh air. Highlights include a powerful run-through of punk stomper 'You Won't Do' (which reminded us of the Dwarves at their most primal), and the shimmying 'Seashore' which already sounds like an anthem.
Next up is our headliners, who are considerably louder and way more illuminated than the previous acts (send your conspiracy theories to the usual address....). Armed with three albums,an ode to Miley Cyrus and a drummer with a famous father (Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, for those keeping score) SWMRS waste little time diving into their bag of tricks for an energetic set of melodic, millennial flavoured pop punk. Starting strongly with 'Palm Trees,' frontman Cole Becker is a revelation. Charismatic and deft at cranking out a head cracking riff or three, cuts like 'Ruining My Pretending' and 'Hannah' showcase a band on the cusp of very big things indeed.
Clearly pleased to be in Dublin, they do a quick rendition of 'Molly Malone' and drop a cover of Lizzy's evergreen 'The Boys Are Back In Town' into the set (we'll gloss over the“Wolfe Tones moment” though to save the unwitting four-piece both their blushes and their knees, should they ever be in certain parts of Belfast....). 'Miley' is,as expected, their finest offering and thanks to a beefier, Weezer-esque live sound coupled with an enthusiastic crowd it has turned this curious reviewer into a convert.