- 20 Nov 23
The post-punk heroes provided an intense and capitavting display with their homecoming show at the 3Olympia.
Ending their current tour with a string of domestic shows, The Murder Capital flaunted their recent musical evolution with a burningly intimate show at Dublin’s 3 Olympia on Saturday evening.
The storied theatre, looking ornate as ever with its gilded decor, had the pleasure of hosting Mary Black the night prior – providing what could be the biggest contrast in back-to-back performances since Logic played a few days prior to Alice Cooper in 2017.
First coming onto the scene five-or-so years ago, The Murder Capital have proven themselves to be one of the most prominent and influential figures in the noisy and industrial ‘post-punk’ scene which has entranced Ireland with its tumultuous draw.
The Irish band’s latest album Gigi’s Recovery strayed away from the cacophonous tropes of the genre, and in traversing these variegated soundscapes the band took a brave, gainful step.
No signs of second album syndrome to be seen, the project saw the five-piece incorporate a multifaceted, artsy, approach - adding layered synths and exotic sounding guitars - they showed that they aren’t -nor ever were - flash in the pan noisemakers.
The fruits of this sonic examen were revealed straight away on Saturday night as they got things rolling with ‘The Stars Will Leave Their Stage’ – its uneasy, metallic vibrato guitars providing a haunting cushion for the tune’s Strokes-y choruses.
A mosh-igniting performance of the pounding ‘More Is Less’ followed suit – sending the standard bearers of the pit into hysterics.
Second number aside, most of the concert’s earlier stretch was – audience wise- relatively tame, perhaps a consequence of Gigi’s Recovery slightly more tender tones.
The gig was nonetheless an impressive exhibition of the band’s recent experimentation - Diarmuid Brennan’s intense looping drums on ‘Crying’ offering shades of In Rainbows-era Radiohead.
This alt-rock feel was exhibited further on the infectious ‘Return My Head’, James McGovern’s moody yet catchy delivery demonstrating the group’s melodic maturation.
‘Heart In The Hole’, their recent electro-coloured single, got a run out early on too. More pared back than what fans might be used to, it’s refreshing seeing a band so confident in their delivery of newer tracks – the snazzy-looking McGovern stomping around with justified self-certitude.
‘Green and Blue’ got the crowd going again. A much-loved banger from the first LP, fans were more than happy to go mad for this one - “Well you showed up didn’t ye”, jeered McGovern at previously sedentary factions of spectators.
A burst of energy which was short lived, things decelerated with a special and emotional rendition of ‘On Twisted Ground’.
Stage swathed in crimson, the enigmatic singer sat down at the front of his platform, embracing bassist Gabriel Paschal Blake for a duet of sorts, providing a privy moment between two artists as well as their audience.
McGovern joined his hypnotised onlookers for a quick crowd surf, before sitting on the barrier to face the band, basking in the dulcet din his buddies cooked up during ‘Slowdance I & II’.
Refusing to give in to tacky rock’n’roll charades ,The Murder Capital didn’t play an encore - having oozed their turbulent goodness for about an hour and a half, it’s not as if they risked selling anyone short.
They finished the night with the ever popular, ‘Don’t cling to life’. A song which deals with accepting life's finalities, it proved to be a fitting and uplifting send-off - reminding the audience that all good things must come to an end at some stage.