Heroes in Hiding at the Grand Social – Review
Triskaidekaphobia, a fear of Friday the 13th. Now, I’m not superstitious but I’m a little stitious, and I could help but feel a bit anxious as I watched Heroes in Hiding take the stage in the Grand Social last night. It’s fair to say that before they had even started the gig the pressure was on, the Grand Social was the most impossibly clammy place to be on Friday, basically, it was a sweatbox full of mildly bemused people. However, when this awesome foursome, accompanied by a cellist and saxophonist, began their set the entire atmosphere of the venue just transformed. The eager hustling of fans eager to get to the forefront of the stage suggests that these boys have a rather loyal following, a particularly impressive one in fact, one that knows the songs, fights over the set list, and are easily the most enthusiastic fans I have come across in a long time. I spoke to several people that night, there was the usual friends and family (proud mothers were the first to plant a celebratory sloppy kiss on their sons once the performance was finished); but there were also genuine fans who had chanced across the boys and now eagerly follow them. This in itself speaks volumes about the underground popularity of these guys.
The Dublin 4 piece and after a 3-year hiatus, have decided to focusing on releasing a four track EP in the form of their second EP, ‘Can’t Dance’. This will act as the follow-up to their initial EP, ‘Hush’. Now, this is your official warning, get onto the Spotify, or Soundcloud, or BandCamp -I don’t care, some form of social media- and get downloading and supporting them, because if their performance in the Grand Social was anything to go by then they’re definitely going to be taking over the Irish music scene pretty soon.
Now, I don’t want to dish out too much credit or anything, but they were fecking amazing. Their set just sizzled of a charismatic indie charm and demonstrated that besides being talented musicians, there’s a gifted songwriter in their midst also. The song ‘Coffin Ship’, had this sort of haunting sorrow, you could tell that lead singer, Joe Carroll, meant every single word as he sang of his friend’s emigration. They’re a band that maintain a good stage presence and clearly live for their live performances. Each time the crowd sung along or chanted it seemed to bolster their performance even more. They’ve also managed to subtly embody the charms of the folk/ indie circuit at the moment, their song, ‘Hush’, just maintains a tinge of James Vincent McMurrow to it but in their own unique manner. Their track, ‘Smoke Signals’, further demonstrates their musical prowess, the slow and steady rhythm of the track has a lingering quality to it, the vocals were just on point and perfectly suited the atmosphere in the Grand Social. Yet in saying that, their aware of the need for variance, and their song, ‘Bruises’, has a slightly more progressive manner, and as the track builds, it’s obvious that these guys have taken their time in finding their own unique sound and perfecting it. Heroes in Hiding are the sort of band that you can listen to on a lazy Sunday evening, but they also have a few crackers in their repertoire, which means when the moment calls for it, you can do all the air guitar moves you have in your arsenal. Also, I have to give the band credit, their rendition of Let’s Get It On/ Sexual Healing, pretty much blew the entire audience away, it was the perfect cover for the night that was in it, and it’s impressive to see that they don’t confine themselves to indie/ folk tracks alone. The best advice I can give when it comes to Heroes in Hiding is to go and see them yourself, or at least download everything and play it full blast in your house- that way your neighbours can listen to some excellent music, whether they like it or not.
Review by Elaine McDonald