Many thought the Dublin four-piece would never return live, but tonight in Camden they’re back, bolder and more inspiring than ever.
Despite being jam-packed in a room full of sweaty people, listening to Girl Band‘s set is an individual experience. All in all few lyrics are sang back to the band, but that’s not what their live show is about. The overriding euphoria comes in the form of deep techno-inspired beats, thrusts of shapeshifting bass and off-kilter guitar noise that builds with Dara Kiely’s unique vocal and lyrical expression.
Girl Band took time out before the making of new album ‘The Talkies’ to focus on their health, with frontman Dara Kiely discussing the struggles he was facing with ongoing mental health issues. A close listen to the lyrics on tracks such as ‘Pears For Lunch’ and ‘The Last Riddler’ from the band’s debut record, provides an insight into the lyricist’s struggles at that time.
Keeping their stage chat to a minimum, the Dubliners took to the stage and rolled straight into tracks from their debut record ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’, displaying a love of industrial rock fused with mind-blowing live techno drum beats. At every opportunity the band build towards a climax, sometimes pulling the trigger and sometimes asking the listener to persevere.
There’s serious rhythm to their madness, track’s like ‘Going Norway’ and ‘Shoulderblades’, from their new album ‘The Talkies’, go down like old favourites with the new tracks representing more recognisable song structure and stand out explosive moments, a fitting tribute to Guy Fawkes night. Their now famous cover of ‘Why They Hid Their Bodies Under My Garage’ set’s the room alight and is a sure fan favourite. They finish with ‘Paul’ and provides the audience with all they wanted on a long awaited return.
Their return, to a sold out crowd at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, was a much talked about affair in the lead up, and naturally sold out in advance with fans eager to catch a band hungry to re-engage with their audience. With a sound too bold and raw to ignore, it’s the overwhelming rhythmic power and the engineer’s light show that moves hundreds of smiling fans into a mosh pit tonight.
By Karl Johnson