Girl Band at the Twisted Pepper, Dublin, Saturday, 31 January 2015
An explosive 2014 saw Girl Band tour the festival circuit, release new singles, sign an international deal with Rough Trade Records and acquire an agent state-side. Rightly crowned one of our Plec Picks for 2015, the noise-rockers kicked off the year with a sold-out show in The Twisted Pepper.
Without any fuss, the Dublin four-piece take the stage and kick it into gear. There’s no slow start or messing about, the band unleash an intense wall of sound, giving us the first casualties of the night: everyone’s ear drums. That was to be expected.
Things are already pretty hectic from the opening tracks, but when we reach De Bom Bom the room is swallowed up by a sea of elbows and sweat. The guitars sound volatile, the vocals are manic. Further casualties: anyone vaguely near the moshpit.
The sounds coming from the stage are ferociously charged. A chaotic blend of overdriven guitars is conducted by an erratic drumline, all channelled by the incredible vocals of frontman Dara Kiely. He slides and screeches through different pitches like a drunk toddler having an exceptionally well-articulated tantrum (and we mean that in the complimentary sense).
There’s never much time wasted introducing the tracks. “This next song is called The Cha Cha Cha, it’s gas”, Dara murmurs. Cue 30 seconds of full-throttle punk aggression and more life-threatening moshing. Lawman is also a massive moment, building the energy in the room to hazardous levels.
But why end on one of your big songs from 2014? Or even any of your upcoming singles? In true unorthodox fashion, Girl Band instead finished up with a frenzied eight-minute cover of techno anthem Why They Hide Their Bodies under My Garage. At this point we give up on the casualty count. It feels like something is going to explode and/or catch fire, but we just roll with it.
Girl Band have a disregard for form that is completely unpretentious and authentic. There’s a confidence about them that is utterly justified. The most striking thing about their live show is the realisation that you simply could not cover a Girl Band track. You could be 99% accurate and sound like absolute trainwreck, because there’s something so special about this band that can’t be duplicated.