Beach At The Grand Social – Review

Beach Whelan's Review

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Beach are a new wave psychedelic noise band that have recently emerged as one of Dublin’s most exciting acts. Having released the hugely promising Space EP, their new single ‘Arabia’ is launched in the intimate venue of the Grand Social. Bringing with them a spectacular visual backdrop, the band pull an impressive crowd for this promising showcase.

Joey Gavin is first support, who impresses with a unique blend of melancholy folk and ethereal dream pop. Proving to be sombre yet refreshingly original, the set is raw. Tracks like ‘Disappear’ are uplifting and simultaneously deeply uncomfortable. Ones to watch for sure. Also supporting, electro pop merchants Young Woods take the vibe to a more atmospheric one. The band captivate the crowd with top class vocal harmonies and pounding baselines tied together under some very lyrical keyboard work. Frontmen Luke Howard and Ryan Hargadon are exceptional. Finishing with a mind melting synthesised take on ‘Killing in the name’, few are left unimpressed.

As the lights dim and the promised visuals begin to engulf the venue, Beach emerge onstage and waste no time in hitting the audience with a pulverising wall of sonic soundscapes. Immediately setting the tone for the night, the energy levels start at ten and never dip. Tune after tune of raspy goodness comes from singer Dave Barrett, and flows impeccably with the explosive sound of the band. The trippy backdrop does genuinely do a lot for the music too, which is a rare thing to actually find effective.

Most of the crowd now seemingly in a bit of a trance state in face of all the delightfully swirly guitars and airy vocals, the band loosen up somewhat and take it up another notch. The drums and bass rise in intensity and the overall feel just skyrockets. It really is so refreshing to see a psych band add a modern and truly original flair to the genre as opposed to re-hashing what’s already been done. The band’s latest single, ‘Arabia’ is all the proof you need. This chilled out belter is the set highlight without doubt. Droning guitars and long, Thom Yorke esque vocals are driven by the push/pull feel an underlying drum machine, all drenched in roomy reverb.

The single’s B-Side, ‘Moon Smoke’ has to be mentioned as being perhaps the strongest of any single this year. Easily holding up with the main track as well as the rest of the set, this one is a more snappy and melodic number, featuring more of the enchanting chiming guitars and catchy hooks that the band deliver so well. Having now wrapped up the set, most are left in awe from the spectacle they’d just been hit with.

Psychedelic acts are seemingly rising quite a bit in popularity these days, and with bands like Beach leading the way, it’s no great surprise. When a band shows this much promise and professionalism so soon after its inception, it’s hard not to be a little blown away. After a performance of this calibre, the next move for this band will undoubtedly be impatiently awaited.

Check out the video for ‘Arabia’ here:


Finn O’Reilly

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