Reverberation Psych Festival at The Grand Social Day One – Review & Photos
The Reverberation Weekender is Ireland’s first Psyche/Drone Festival – a fusion of shimmering, mind expanding aural surrealism, psychedelic grooves with live bands, DJs & Visuals running over 2 days in The Grand Social. This is what we are promised anyway, and with a lineup of must see Irish and international noise merchants this good all under one roof, this was always set up to be a cracker.
Cork dream pop outfit Elastic Sleep are first up, who waste no time in setting the mood with their melancholic blend of soundscapes and hauntingly beautiful melodies. The female fronted band show their magnificent songwriting capabilities with the catchy ‘Leave You’ as well as the terrifying yet huge sounding ‘Slip’. The punching bass and otherworldly guitar tones of Chris Somers compliment Muireann Levis’ dreamy vocals perfectly, and make for an ethereal experience that is just so good live.
Grunge pop heroes Otherkin take the stage next, who have been going from strength to strength recently. Quickly establishing themselves as one of the most competent live acts in Dublin, tracks like ‘Ay Ay’ and ‘So So’ showcase their remarkable ability to write blistering riffs and delightfully poppy melodies. Frontman Luke Reilly does a good job of working the crowd that are clearly here for the more psychedelic stuff. Nevertheless, thirty minutes of quality guitar pop never hurt anyone, and they do it oh so well.
This Other Kingdom take us into full on psychedelics with their set, who at this stage are playing to a considerably packed room. Combining a very 60’s sounding breed of psych with their own touch of thumping bass driven riffs, Del Kerton and the lads have the crowd dancing and lapping up his radical dance moves. Check out singles ‘The Day, Your Day’ and ‘He Controls The Sea’, for a taste of their atmospheric grooves.
With the standard of acts being simply remarkable thus far, things only get hotter when Dublin rock ’n’ roll act The Urges take to the stage. To be frank, their performance is nothing shy of perfect. Mixing early mod rock tones with the groovy psychedelic vibes of The Beatles, every track is as good as the last. Set highlight ‘Passing Us By’ features some hot guitar work from Peter Smith as well as some irresistible harmonies from the rest of the band. Listen to their 2008 offering, Psych Ward for more.
Things dip in quality for the next act, the highly experimental TAU. Based in Berlin, their performance is more of a tribal experience. With deep chanting and very minimalist instrumentation, the band quickly evoke chatting and ultimately, boredom. Perhaps a step too far into the spiritual world for most, there is a sense that they took what should have been a brief noise interlude and stretched it over forty minutes.
Finishing things up for the night are day one headliners, The Watchmakers. Like an amalgamation of every band we’ve seen thus far, these boys are well versed in the craft of trippy pop music. With the outfits to match, the audience are pleasantly lulled into the final hour of droning melodies and reverb soaked guitars in the best way possible. With the energy and ferocity of a gritty rock band, their songs are delivered under a blanket of contrasting reverse guitar tones and soothing harmonies. Possible highlight of the evening, ‘Kiss The Sun’ embodies the spirit of the day. Pulsating bass, jangly guitar lines and reverb drenched vocals are the order of the day for their set, and closes the first night of this newfound festival perfectly. With so much more face melting, soul penetrating musical ventures to come, we welcome tomorrow with open arms.
Review by Finn O’Reilly
Photos by Tudor Marian
comments to this article