Tokyo Police Club at Whelan’s – Review and Photos
Tokyo Police Club at Whelan’s – March 28th
“It’s good to be back,” Tokyo Police Club’s lead singer David Monks tells the crowd early on in the night’s proceedings. As it turns out, he’s a local boy; in spite of the Canadian accent, he was born just up the road in the Rotunda hospital and he certainly seemed to enjoy his return to the land of his birth.
It had taken the band quite some time to arrive, with a big gap between support band Palace and the main attraction of the night, but Tokyo Police Club made it worth the wait. They delivered a blistering set of old favourites and cracking new tunes from their recently released album, ‘Forcefield’. It was the first weekend gig that the band had played since the release of the album and the set went down a storm with the near capacity crowd.
From the moment the band kicked off with the epic eight minute opening track from ‘Forcefield’, ‘Argentina Parts I, II & III’, they had the crowd in the palm of their very talented hands. The guitar playing of Josh Hook was a joy to behold all night and he demonstrated that ability early on with some furious riffery at the climax of the opening tune.
Not to be outdone by Hook, Monks’ funky bass line combined with Graham Wright’s slinky keys to draw one of the biggest early cheers of the night for ‘Nature of the Experiment’. This early track from their 2006 EP ‘A Lesson in Crime’ was a huge hit with the crowd, who bopped and swayed along appreciatively.
There was more swaying for ‘Beaches’, a gentler song with a subtle arrangement that slowed proceedings down nicely before the tempo was ramped up again with ‘Toy Guns’ and ‘Favourite Colour’, both of which featured yet more impressive guitar flourishes from Josh Hook.
The band were certainly well in their stride by this stage and the latter part of the set featured a fantastic version of ‘Breakneck Speed’ that featured some strident, effects heavy guitar work. One of the highlights of the evening followed with ‘Hot Tonight’ which drew a huge roar from the crowd. Ferocious drumming and superb keyboard playing were complimented by a gorgeous guitar melody to make for an instant classic that the crowd gleefully sung along to in spite of the relative newness of the song.
By the time the urgent guitar riff and frantic drumming ushered in the refrain of ‘Tokyo Police Club’ on set closer ‘Cheer It On’, the band could be satisfied with a job well done but there was time for one more special moment.
Just after the band had left the stage, one young gentleman who perhaps had imbibed one too many sherries, mounted the stage to initiate a chorus of ‘one more tune’. He was duly obliged when Monks returned to the stage on his own and decided to do a solo, unplugged version of ‘Tessellate’ at the front of the stage, once the obligatory sushing had rippled through the crowd of course. It was a stunning version of the song and although the rest of the band returned for two more songs it was that version of ‘Tessellate’ that sticks in the mind after what was a very good way to spend a Friday evening.
Review by Mark O’Brien
Photos by Anamaria Meiu