- 05 Nov 19
All day long Dublin had been buffeted by wind and rain but now it was time for a different kind of onslaught. Tropical Fuck Storm swept into Whelan’s and, in the best possible way, left their fans feeling as if they’d been picked up by a tornado and tossed head over heels
Having emerged from the remains of cult Melbourne noise band The Drones, FTS are proof that, as in life and American fiction, there are second acts in experimental southern hemisphere rock. The Drones burned brightly through their near 20 years history, leaving behind a beautiful body of work and such fantastic album titles as Wait Long By The River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By (sound advice we are tempted to put into practice).
And when the project finally petered out in 2016 Gareth Liddiard and his partner Fiona Kitschin didn’t hesitate. Faster than you could say, “rip it up and start again’, they dived straight into Tropical Fuck Storm, a ensemble whose stance on making your teeth rattle and brain detonate is, if anything, even more hardline than that of their previous outfit.
Their forte is gale-force psychedelia with the safety catch off and the dial pushed to overload. And they lived up to their reputation for eclectic ferocity as they kicked off their European tour on Wexford Street. Guitars wailed and shrieked on the horizon-filling ‘Chameleon Paint’.
Cranking the din up further with ‘Who’s My Eugene?’ they served up a g-force funk ruckus that rocked the venue to its figurative foundations. It was just what you had hoped for from a crew who once wrote a concept song likening the 1996 chess match between Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue to a death struggle between Norse Gods.
As you would also expect from a group that put the pedal to the floor and kept it there, banter was at a premium. Liddiard did wonder about the all-day downpour. “Does it always rain like this?” he asked. Yes nodded the soggy masses. Yet the damp, the cold and even the passing of Gay Byrne were all temporarily forgotten as Tropical Fuck Storm kicked down the doors and carried us shoulder high into acid-pop nirvana.