Review: Fight Like Apes, The Minutes, Funeral Suits and Deap Vally at Whelan’sTweet
Fight Like Apes, The Minutes, Funeral Suits and Deap Vally @ Whelan’s 27th August 2012
It’s a rainy Monday night in Dublin, but there is a good crowd in Whelan’s for night two of RubyWorks 10th birthday celebrations. The show is already running thirty minutes late by the time openers Deap Vally take to the stage but, for those that would have missed these California newcomers, that’s a good thing. The crowd nod along appreciatively to their stripped back bluesy rock which is played a few decibels louder than you would expect from a couple of small valley girls. They endure a few technical problems with good humour, engage in some decent audience banter. They certainly earned a few fans in their first show on these shores and we will look forward to hearing their début album which is due later this year.
The Funeral Suits enter next as the stage is bathe in green light; their highly produced, electronic sound in stark contrast to Deap Vally. They are no less compelling though and the pounding drums keep the energy up in the room. All haircuts and skinny jeans, Funeral Suits are the prime hipsters on the Irish music scene. They put so much energy into their shows though, that even the greatest hipster-hater will forgive them that. Hands Down by Your Side and All Those Friendly People, which they dedicate to RubyWorks, are prime examples. They don’t engage in too much audience banter, but their enthusiasm helps them connect with the crowd to make up for it. That, and their songs – Colour Fade a notable example – are good enough to keep the audience en-rapt.
The Minutes bring us back to stripped back blues rock when they enter the fray next. They are well versed in commanding a stage and making ears bleed. They are old pros at this stage and rarely disappoint. They certainly don’t here. Mark even decides that he is bored of the stage and plays a considerable portion of Gold from the middle of the crowd. They dedicate Fleetwood to ‘some prick down at the tall ships’. It may be the same show the crowd – now pushing bursting point – have heard before, albeit with a new track or two, but they always turn it into a spectacle to behold.
For most of the crowd though, these three were just appetisers for a main course of Ape. Fight Like Apes have been away from the regular touring circuit for nearly two years, but that absence has done nothing to blunt the fans’ appetite for them. The crowd are becoming frenzied even before MayKay, Pockets, Lee and Conor take the stage.
They are slightly ring-rusty to begin with, and the opener, new track Merry Man, falls a bit flat. It’s not long before they get back into their impressive stride. The likes of Tie Me Up in Jackets, Captain A-Bomb and Digifucker have the crowd jumping and singing along. “We missed you,” MayKay says on several occasions during the set. Such a statement could come across as pandering to the crowd, but here it seems genuine. Who wouldn’t miss the adulation of hundreds of fans on a wet Monday night?
There are four new Fight Like Apes songs thrown in during the set. They are undeniably Fight Like Apes but perhaps a bit more, dare I say it, mature. Jabba even sounds like a modern pop song – perhaps by someone a bit more ‘out there’ than the likes of Katy Perry – except it’s about a Star Wars character. We will hear more when the new album comes out early next year. They end the main part of their incredibly energetic show with the fantastic Battlestations.
The crowd are tired and sweaty but bay for more as the band exit the stage. When the lights come up and the doors open it seems like they may not get any more but at the side of the stage the band are appealing to be let do another song. They are let back on and when they play Jake Summers they blow the roof off the place. Nearly every person in the place is jumping to the music and screaming the music back to the stage. MayKay jumps into the crowd to mosh along with the fans. Pockets, perhaps jealous of the attention, joins her and, in the nicest way possible, tackles her to the ground. They make their way back to their feet and, eventually, back to the stage in time to make a mess of it.
You say you missed us, Fight Like Apes? We missed you more.
Fight Like Apes, The Minutes, Funeral Suits and Deap Vally Photo Gallery
Photos: Kieran Frost