Review: General Fiasco at The Academy 2Tweet
Review: Claire Kane
The Academy 2 is a venue tailored for bands with niche followings and stellar performance abilities. It takes a truly strong performance to master the dark corners and intimidating setting of The Academy’s basement and it has become a favourite among less mainstream acts throughout Ireland and the UK.
The latest band to take to the reasonably small stage was General Fiasco. The band, which originates from Bellaghy, Northern Ireland, have the perfect niche following of alternative/pop rock fans who simply love to rock out; just what the miniature venue was built for. The show was opened by the colourful The Wonder Villains, who delivered a short set of pop-tinted tunes, and the better known Yes Cadets who are steadily becoming known as Belfast’s leading shoe-gaze band. Both support acts set the ideal tone for what would be a thrilling performance from General Fiasco.
General Fiasco’s set kicked off with fan favourite We Are The Foolish and immediately a party atmosphere was created and it became clear from the that they know how to put on a show. As they moved from song to song, lead singer Owen Strathern charmed the crowd in a confident yet endearingly coy way. The entire set was packed with stomping tunes that were simply created for live performance; most notably the fun Dancing With Girls and I Want To Eat Her. Each song was performed to perfection. Their set was mainly focussed around material from their début album, ‘Buildings’, but the audience was also treated to some tracks from their upcoming album.
There were two stand out moments in the performance; the first was a beautiful and tender rendition of Sinking Ships which was performed solely by Owen Strathern on an acoustic guitar. It was a precious moment in which the audience sang along to the poignant lyrics and Strathern was visibly moved. The second was Ever so Shy, one of the band’s best known songs and an anthem among their fans. The band’s sound was so impressive that it could barely be contained in the room.
The set ended on Rebel Get By and by this time the crowd were in a state of euphoria and understandably so such was the level of the performance. The audience responded so well to General Fiasco you would expect it’s only a matter of time before they are playing larger venues. General Fiasco were in their element at the Academy 2 and they are certainly one of those special acts that can stun a crowd and make a small venue seem a lot bigger. There was already an air of anticipation for the band’s return to Dublin as the crowd were exiting the venue on to Abbey Street in a music induced daze.