We Cut Corners at The Academy – Review and Photos
As the Dublin duo take to the stage, my eyes fixate on the ‘Don’t be a dick’ sticker on John Duignan’s guitar. I smile a little, feeling this only suitable for the relatively quirky, indie band. The crowd they attract exude an overall vibe of being sound. It’s a comforting atmosphere – made even more pleasant by the snug surroundings of The Academy.
The night opens with the immense ‘Mammals’ and its sensational rhythm. Deeply catchy as well as spirit-lifting, it has every individual in gleeful motion. Conall O’Breachain and Jason Duignan’s voices work spectacularly together. Duigan’s is a more traditionally punk vocal while O’Breachain’s is distinguished and almost juvenile like. Live, they are note perfect, living up to every musical expectation.We Cut Corners regularly and refreshingly alter their tone. The stripped back ‘Dumb Blonde’, accompanied by delicate guitar, is one of my favourites. O’Breachain’s vocals here dazzle – pure, majestic and so very felt. He has a storyteller characteristic which makes every lyric that bit more absorbing.
Then we are transported to more punk rock theme with ‘Best Friend’. Heads bang and shoulders shake. Duignan clenches the mic as the veins in his face pop at the surface. If there’s one thing to be said about We Cut Corners, it is that they admirably indulge themselves in their performance.
The act welcome on their musical guests, The Booka Brass Band – consisting of a variety of brass instruments – from trombones and trumpets to saxophone and sousaphone. This is a riveting addition. Together the two bands perform We Cut Corners’ “new song” ‘Middle Kids’. With all of that powerful brass this sound is huge, climaxing to a wonderful amplification. Matched with a fantastic song, this exhilarates the crowd and gives way to what is most definitely a peak in the gig. It is astounding. The sense of enjoyment from every musician on the stage is glaringly obvious and so, we beam right back at them.
“How’re you all doing?” the amiable O’Breachain asks before they dive into ‘This is then’. The guitar skills at hand particularly complement the tune. Energy here rises constantly, filling the venue with a major buzz and our souls with absolute thrill, leaving even the musicians a little breathless. I here become increasingly aware of We Cut Corner’s phenomenal stage presence and again at the end of ‘Y.K.K’ as the pair grin at one another. As well as their gifted stage presence, audience involvement is continuously encouraged, especially during the joyous sing-along of Blur’s classic, ‘Tender’.
Roaring cheers of appreciation reach staggering decibels in the encore showing that everyone here has great love for We Cut Corners. They have entered into our lives on this splendiferous evening and allowed us to experience, to enjoy, and to live. Then comes the superlative moment of the night.. a sublime cover of Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Mandinka’ with The Booka Brass Band. This is a moment that will remain with me forever. The audience, ecstatic and care-free, chant along and let loose. This cover (which implements a cow bell most worthy of mention) is feel-good, electrifying, and just unbelievable. Within these walls we are a world away from the damp city, delighted and dancing, high on life. My absolute gratitude is owed to We Cut Corners and The Brass Band for this intoxicating experience.
Finally the night draws to an awe-inspiring finish with ‘Go Easy’. Lyrics such as ‘Maybe I don’t want to be fixed, Maybe I’m just not broken’ and ‘Barricade me inside your head’ exhibit true depth, stirring our emotions. The celestial sounds of this last piece are amazing, doing every bit of justice to what has been a first-class gig. My praise of this breathtaking evening is infinite. With absolute conviction I assure anyone who attends a future We Cut Corners gig that their every wish for fulfillment will be met. They are undeniable one of Ireland’s top bands, and put on a show that is not to be missed.
We Cut Corners will play Debarras, Clonakilty on the 24th of October and the Spirit Store, Dundalk on the 25th.