Ones to Watch 2014 – Thursday Review (part 2)
Day two of Ones to Watch in Whelan’s was a very electro-influenced affair. Most of the bands who performed on the night included some element of electronica in their arsenal and it was interesting to see how various bands utilised this to embellish their sound. While it didn’t always hit the mark, there were moments of promise from all of the bands on show and it will be very interesting to see how they progress as the year wears on.
See also: Review Ones to Watch – Wednesday
Kicking things off upstairs were alternative pop band Floor Staff. The band’s excellent Good Luck EP was released last summer to positive reviews but tonight that good work didn’t translate as well as it could have to a live setting. In fairness, the lead singer did say that he had just stepped off a plane from Mongolia so the lethargy of the performance can be somewhat excused. There were moments towards the end of the set where the band found their groove and the potential for better things was evident but overall it was a set that failed to really engage a crowd that never got any further than clapping politely. The band may not have been at their best but on the evidence of their recorded output it would be foolish to write them off based on tonight’s performance.
Tipperary trio Cove delivered an intriguing set of indie-dance tunes. The band’s sound consists of shimmering synth soundscapes layered over driving bass and pounding synthesised rhythms with elements of hip-hop thrown in for good measure. The singer’s falsetto vocals are at times embellished with jerky effects and his overall ‘Graham Coxon in a vest’ look makes him a strangely fascinating frontman. The band didn’t interact with the crowd much and seemed happy to let their music do the talking for them. Overall they were very impressive and having supported the likes of Le Galaxie and Delorentos, 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for Cove.
See also: Review Ones to Watch – Thursday (part 1)
The likes of Jim Carroll and Nialler9 have tipped The Academic for great things this year and it’s easy to see how the baby-faced lads from Mullingar could break through in a big way. While there’s nothing terribly original about them, they delivered a set of tight indie-pop tunes that the crowd seemed to really respond to. The last song of their set was particularly impressive and there’s every chance that this band could follow in the footsteps of The Strypes as the next bright young things of Irish music.
Consisting of producer Harry Bookless and singer-songwriter Aaron Page, Dublin duo Carriages stood out as the pick of Thursday night’s acts. The pair blend elements of folk with electronica to deliver a sound that is truly unique, with moments of luscious finger-picking on ukulele and guitar juxtaposed against funky beats and beguiling effects. The songs are well crafted; the electronic elements serve to enhance the band’s overall sound but at no time does it overpower the sweet melodies that are given enough space to breath. A decent sized crowd seemed to enjoy what they were hearing and Carriages can be very satisfied with their night’s work.
Review by Mark O’Brien