Fighting With Wire at The Workman’s Club on Friday 22 February 2013

Derry’s Fighting With Wire came to the Workman’s for what could prove to be their last Dublin gig. Support was provided by two bright young bands, Former Monarchs and CPNHGN (pronounced Copenhagen), who both have albums due for release this year. Both acts play a similar sort of style, with long build-ups to powerful climaxes, with intense instrumental sections, yet both have their own distinctive take on this framework. The two acts engaged well with the crowd, impressing this reviewer, meaning even before the arrival of the main act, we had been treated to some fine new music.

Fighting With Wire arrived on stage and immediately launched into a blistering set full of energy and passion. Ferocious drums and mean basslines drive the songs forward allowing frontman and lead guitarist Cahir O’Doherty to provide the vicious guitar that features so strongly in the band’s music. The aggressive distorted guitar sound lends to the band’s very heavy rock feel, but there is a strong sense of melody that gives them a decidedly poppy feel. Take Erase You, ‘a song about wanting to murder someone’ as O’Doherty described it. Despite this theme of the song and the angry instrumentation, the chorus still has a strong sing-a-long quality about it. Sugar is another song that combines rock qualities with pop sensibilities, featuring a distorted guitar effect in the verse, before moving on to a catchy chorus.

One of the best moments of the night was during an instrumental section, when the bass and drums kept the beat while O’Doherty announced he was about to play the greatest solo ever. He proceeded to play a wonderfully distorted and discordant solo that the crowd loved. O’Doherty kept up the charming arrogance when he called Everyone Needs A Nemesis a classic. And he’s not far from the truth, packed with brilliant riffs, and a massive chorus, the song is an absolute belter. The band finished off the night with the wonderful Cut The Transmission. O’Doherty’s vocals were particularly impressive, varying between a high-pitched shout, his more natural range and loud screams.

The band announced that this was to be their last Dublin show, but they did say they intended to play at some festivals this summer, and then finish up with one last show in Derry. So there is still time to catch this formidable live act one last time before they’re gone for good. Tonight they were on top-form, and add to that two excellent support acts, and you had a wonderful night of brilliant music at the Workman’s.

Fighting with Wire Photo Gallery

Photos: Kieran Frost