JSS Battle Of The Bands – Review
There’s nothing like a good old fashioned charity battle of the bands to get buzzed on the upcoming talent of Dublin’s underground, is there? Well, when you have the likes of Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy and Delorentos manager Dan Oggly onboard too, things are sure to sizzle. Proving to be gracious judges for the night, the pair bring an element of elevated authenticity to the Grand Social’s live room.
It’s not very often one gets to write a serious review about nine bands of mostly young teenagers for public digestion. This is surely a justified occasion if any. Polished, mature sounding acts lay any worries to bed that this will be a night of substandard rock music. Creative originals and tasteful takes on the classics come from nigh all bands of the night. Whyisaac bring a taste of celtic trad, and Inhaler bring some retro rock sounds via their jangling rendition of ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ and searing original, ‘My Girl’.
Douglas Smyth gets the teen girl vote through a convincing set of covers, most notably via a rustic ‘Sunday Morning’. While it’s a shame some of the acts refer only to cover versions to sell themselves, the potential and creative juices flowing are remarkable. San Lori prove that energy and fire are possibly more important than being technically proficient, and as Hannon remarked, they could be the only band to ever be a suitable support act to The Fall.
However, it’s the pop rock quartet Trooper Charlie that snag the win. Their articulation and chemistry onstage is what brings it home for them. Combining current pop sounds with a stadium rock approach, they have a winning formula. Their original tune ‘Shot in The Dark’ is a well thought out and maturely composed number, and livens up the evening to no end.
With that, the evening ends, and all are left suitably impressed. Hannon presents the winners with their cash prize and gets in some not so sly criticisms of some of the bands while he’s at it. All in good fun of course! One thing can be certain, Dublin’s future music scene is shaping up rather well.
Check out Trooper Charlie’s Facebook page here, and watch for their upcoming EP.