Girl Band at Vicar Street, Dublin, 1 April 2016

There is just something about the confines of Vicar Street which makes it feel as though you have gone back in time. Although it’s only been open for 18 years, it certainly is one of Dublin’s most antiquated venues. There is a certain charm to it however, and it helps create a closer connection between the band and the crowd.

As Girl Band made their way on stage for their biggest hometown gig to date, the crowd sensed that it was a big moment for them. Intent on making an impression straight away, Girl Band kicked things off with their superb cover of Blawan’s Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage. When they played Longitude last summer they finished with this track; it was a brave move to start with it but it was one that ultimately paid off.

Frontman Dara Kiely was the focal point for the whole night as he showcased his frenetic delivery. At times it appeared as though he was at war with himself as he bellowed into the microphone. Watching him perform is both an unnerving and engaging experience, but one that definitely stays with you.

Now that’s not to say that the band didn’t take centre stage also, they certainly did. When Girl Band are in full flow they’re like a wrecking ball that obliterates everything in its path. During Fucking Butter for example they unleashed a visceral assault of noise that reverberated around the antiquated confines of Vicar Street. Pears for Lunch on the other hand showcased their innate ability to create tension before they explode into chaos.

They rarely put a foot wrong all night but there was a small lull in proceedings when they played In Plastic. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing however, as it gave the crowd a chance to take a breather after the relentless pace the band had set. Despite this the fans were fully engaged for most of the show and at times Vicar Street felt CBGBs with such a raucous crowd.

The undoubted highlight of the evening was the seven-minute behemoth Paul. The bass and drums propelled the song forward as guitarist Alan Duggan created an eerie backdrop with his rhythmic scratching and high pitched squeals. As the song reached its climax they released a cacophony of sound that you couldn’t help but be in awe of. The one thing that Girl Band proved on the night was that, not only are they one of the best band in Ireland, but they are now well on their way to something much bigger than that.

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