Two of Ireland’s most exciting bands are paired together for a double whammy of electro meets metal in The Workman’s Club.
It comes as no surprise hearing Sleep Thieves have racked up over 4 million plays on Spotify; they’re vintage synth/indie vibe is brimming with universal qualities. Tracks like City of Hearts, Spirit Animal and You Want The Night have a dark and edgy exterior, yet posses a groovy and almost cinematic feel.
Their set opens at a satisfying pace (aside from some minor technical trouble). Each song flows casually into the next. Having played shows both here and abroad, Sleep Thieves is clearly a band who have become well accustomed to playing live in recent times, and it shows. A cover version of Bitch Falcon’s TMJ makes a surprise appearance in the set and ties in nicely with the theme of the evening. While singer Sorcha Brennan does a stellar job of translating the music from stage to floor, it must be said the programmed drums is somewhat of a turn off. Final track Oceans gets the audience in a deliberate sway, transfixed in the moment. But the lack of dynamic in which a live drummer brings, is tangible.
This dynamic is then further magnified by the hard-hitting style of Nigel Kenny of Bitch Falcon. They take the stage soon after and erupt into the blistering riff that is Wolfstooth. It’s as if an electric car has just been mowed down by a steam train. Quickly establishing their reputation as one of Dublin’s most ferocious live acts, Bitch Falcon endorse a melée of rock, metal, grunge and bizarrely; pop sensibility. And boy does it work. It’s like some cheesy angrier version of Nirvana, yet somehow it’s working. Guitarist/Lead singer Lizzie Fitzpatrick is a lot of fun to observe, nothing feels forced, she seems to relax and let the mood of the room take the fray while she conducts from the front of stage. Akin to ‘Death From Above 1979,’ the energy of Bitch Falcon is undeniable, and by far their best asset.
Long gaps between songs (mostly for bass tuning), combined with an overload of swirling guitar noise are the negatives found in their set. In fact there’s so much racket between songs you can barely hear anyone clap! TMJ and Breed are the picks of the bunch amid a set of machine-gun style riffs, and solos just shy of stripping the paint off the Workman’s interior. Bitch Falcon are an exciting band and it will be interesting to see how they progress their sound. A nearby doubter shouts; “good luck writing the second album.”
Time for an encore still; rather cleverly put, ‘Bitch Thieves’ all take the stage and play a somewhat underwhelming cover of Sinead O Connor’s Mandinka. It’s a slightly disappointing end to what’s been a strong show of Irish music. But let that not taint the talent on show, these guys are the real deal.