Just Mustard at The Workman’s Club, Dublin on February 16th 2019
With their debut album, ‘Wednesday’, shortlisted for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year and ahead of their upcoming slot supporting Fontaines D.C. on a sold out tour of the United Kingdom, Just Mustard capped off a string of Irish shows at the sold out Workman’s Club, bringing with them a heap of momentum.
With them on this occasion is Dublin’s own Tribal Dance, themselves seen at Whelan’s Ones to Watch 2019 and whose performance at last year’s KnockanStockan was greeted with much fervour, a fitting opener as a group still carving their niche in the national music scene for one that has truly begun to come into their own.
Through teething issues, and in spite of some apparent technical issues that plagued their set early on, Tribal Dance make use of the time afforded them to deliver a frenetic yet deceptively tight performance notable for its technicality and striking musical interplay.
Tribal Dance have recorded material due for release this year and if their output to date and this captivating performance are anything to go by, it warrants your undivided attention.
By the time Just Mustard take the stage, the room is a packed sauna with all eyes fixed on one point. The quintet collectively cut a demure figure and waste no time creating a similar vibe. The shimmering, minimal guitar soundscapes and Katie Ball’s smoky vocals that open album highlight Tainted fill the expanse of the room.
Once that goosebump inducing one-two bass drum kicks up the intensity of the song, band and crowd bob and sway in unison. It’s a vibe that remains constant throughout the duration of the set. As ethereal and dreamy as Just Mustard’s music is, it is every bit as danceable but it inspires a certain kind of dancing – shoegazing in as literal a form as you can imagine.
Album cuts Deaf and Curtains bring looser and heavier moments respectively, whether through Dave Noonan’s ferocious howl or occasional but appropriate blasts of guitar feedback during the denser movements of their songs. ‘Wednesday’ opener Boo is sublime and hypnotic; and those who came expecting a performance of ‘Wednesday’ from start to finish could hardly go home disappointed, as Just Mustard interspersed the familiar with some brand new, as of yet unreleased material. Should these make their way on to a new full length release, fans new and old are in for a real sonic treat.
There’s not much by way of crowd interaction: there doesn’t need to be. Engagement comes enough from the music. A Just Mustard show is all about the enveloping atmosphere the Dundalk five-piece create. Equal parts sweet and corrosive, Just Mustard lend themselves and the listener/viewer to catharsis and whether we like it or not, we’re all along for the ride. The Dundalk five-piece’s trajectory sees them next at the RTÉ Choice Music Prize showcase at Vicar St next month. Their music and performance alike are a mesmerising experience, and not one to be overlooked.