REVIEW: The Riptide Movement in WhelansTweet
The Riptide Movement were launching their new single ‘Hot Tramp’ in Whelan’s on Friday night. As is the norm with a launch night, the crowd were there for the taking, but in fairness Riptide still took them. “It’s Kings of Leon meets AC/DC” says my friend about three songs in. That sounds about right. Maybe the lads in Riptide would baulk at that easy characterisation , I don’t know, maybe they’d be delighted with it; “Grandad tell us the story of what the nice man from Goldenplec said about your band again”.
Singer, Mal, is a force of nature, he has a great, strong voice and he uses it to great effect. Drummer, Gar, forgoes the ‘anonymous guy at the back role’ that many drummers adopt and engages in the whole set, cumulating in the abandoning of his sticks in favour of his head toward the end of the set. Lead guitarist, JP, marries some great guitar work with the cutest, most happy-go-lucky pogo-ing you’ve ever seen – “Look I’m in a band, this is great” – your heart would break just looking at him, someone in a rock band shouldn’t look that cute. And bassist Ger? Well Ger just laughs. It’s great; four lads visibly enjoying what they’re doing, it shouldn’t be so unique but it is. I don’t think I’ve felt the need to describe band members like that before but that’s the response that The Riptide Movement (I can’t bring myself to use the over-familiar TRM abbreviation) elicit, you feel like your pals with them by the end of the set.
The set itself brings to mind the tainted phrase ‘good old-fashioned rock’. It’s a tainted phrase because it’s become a byword for plodding, unimaginative, by-the-numbers rock, but TRM (oh crap, I just used it) are old-fashioned in the best possible sense. Every song is approached with the expectation that the audience is drunk and wants to be more drunk, they absolutely lash into each number. That’s what you want from a rock band, a perfect complement to your inebriation or at a source of regret that you’re not inebriated enough. They jam on a couple of numbers and it’s done in the best possible style; showcasing their musicianship but not over-indulging. The ace-in-the-hole is the new single ‘Hot Tramp’, with which they close the set, it’s a great tune and deserves to be heard by a lot of people. The Riptide Movement should be, and deserve to be, around for a long time, next time you want to get locked and jump around dementedly at a gig then TRM are a safe bet. Oh and may friend who came up with the King of Leon-AC/DC bit wasn’t too impressed by the gig…idiot.