Although there were four bands on at Maguires, an illness earlier in the week, which had left me weak as a kitten, meant it was unlikely I was going to see the night out. If the bands I did get to see were anything to go by, the loss was mine, because the first two acts were pretty damn fine. Starting with a set by Springbok, the audience were treated to some weighty sounds by these two talented young musicians. The pace was blistering and the changes in tempo executed with finesse and precision. As is always the way when there are a number of acts sharing the stage for the evening, the sets are fairly short and sweet, but they give an intriguing taster to be followed up in greater depth in the future. For a band comprising drums and guitar only, they have a rich deep sound and lack none of the guts of bands with many members. Occasionally the vocals got a bit ragged, but apart from that the set was great, even the last song which the singer said was going to be less than perfect. I thought they made a great opening act.
Up next were Falls, a Welsh band with one of the most entertaining sets ever. I knew things were going to get physical when they all took their tops off at the beginning of the set in the quite chilly venue. When the wolf whistles had subsided, the set began. It was not a case of the audience invading the stage, but the band invading the rest of the venue, with one guitarist disappearing into the bar area at one point, whilst the bass was frequently from the centre of the crowd. Often the only band member on the stage proper was the drummer, left out of the mayhem the other band members were creating by necessity. There was much ducking and dodging by the audience to let them through in what is a fairly small room, but the music never suffered. Chunky, solid funk rock with duelling vocalists, delivered from various points in the room, such as on tables and up step ladders, never let the audience get complacent, the solid bounce of the music perfectly delivered had everyone moving and heads nodding in unison to the insistent rhythm.
All the band were brilliant, but hat’s off to the bassist, Ben Griffiths, who seemed to run the gamut of the crowd most. At one point he managed to adeptly avoid a pizza slice which almost found its way down the back of his jeans, whilst later he snared an unsuspecting audience member with his bass strap leading to what looked like the musical version of a tandem parachute jump. I would recommend this band to anyone, not just fans of the genre, just for the sheer entertainment value.
There my night ended. I know I missed out big style. Krystian ‘Yeah Buddy’ Hudson obviously knows how to put together a classy line-up. It was worth a fiver to see the two bands I caught, let alone the other two acts who, judging by the tracks I watched on the internet earlier in the day, were of an extremely high quality. It is brilliant to know Maguire’s caters for heavier music which is not always given the representation it deserves in the city. Oh, and they make a mean pizza too. So, really, you can’t go wrong. If you didn’t get down to the event tonight, keep an eye out for the next one. You won’t be disappointed.
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