And So I Watch You From Afar (ASIWYFA) at Whelans (Photos & Review)
As the sunset over Dublin, inside Whelan’s a new sun was rising. ASIWYFA, Belfast instrumental-rock band arrived to divide and conquer. ‘All Hail Bright Futures’ the album from Sargent House Label was launched as part of a two day musical event – ‘The Golden Stay’ on Weds 15th May 2013.
Charmers, a brand new act, welcomed fans of the main act with their deep, riff ridden heavy hymns they were ‘like death from above’ and reminiscent of QOTSA – if this style of music is to your taste, go follow. Second act Forrests, an electro-duo truly inspired us with their dreamy chill wave sounds that is both ethnic and tropical – similar to Blondes and Aeroplane (We Can’t Fly) with their beta-unblocking beats. Forrests were heavenly to the ear, ones to watch on the chill wave scene and an excellent choice by ASIWYFA.
Resembling modern day warriors, travelling and conquering the world with their ‘un-guitar sounding, guitar-music’- from the moment they opened ASIWYFA took an axe to the stage and hammered out every single one of their hits – literally. Launching straight into their new material “Big Thinks Do Remarkable” blinded us with their stunning, speed guitar sounds and the group sang ‘The sun, the sun, is in our eyes, is in, is in our eyes’ to us, offering an insight into things to come – head banging, ‘two fingered rock gesture in air’ and ‘tight as…’ drums. Like a Mouse is a riff heavy, complex bass – axe wielding beauty of a song.
Beautiful Universe Master Champion a twang sounding guitar strumming uplifting piece from their second album “Gangs” – resurfaced and further from this they chose to play Gangs and 7 Billion People in One Place from their first album stimulated the senses – setting the crowd surfers soaring from this point all night. Mainly the new work is reminiscent of God is an Astronaut, The Redneck Manifesto (I am Brazil), Isis and God Speed You Black Emperor infused with nostalgic influences from Nintendo and Gameboy tunes. Stand out tunes played during the night was the tropical sounding The Stay Golden, Like a Mouse and Spiderbox.
Crowd surfing completely took over and the entire front line up of musicians managed to crowd surf while playing their guitars during their last song. What an experience and a phenomenal gig. I am in no doubt that the after-party ended well after the sun went up over Dublin.
ASIWYFA – warm, tight instrumental-rock at its most uplifting and definitely worth checking out. Lovers of this type music will be in ecstasy. Listen, head bang, and rock into ASIWYFA’s sunset with ‘All Hail Bright Futures’ here.
Review by Áine Byrne
Photos by Tudor Marian