The Minutes at The Workmans Club, Dublin on NYE 2014

While Kodaline and friends played just around the corner at College Green on Wednesday night, the scene was very different in the confines of The Workman’s Club. It may be a smaller venue, but  it was filled with a trio of hugely talented bands who succeeded in sending 2014 off with not just a bang, but a series of explosive performances. The night was headlined by The Minutes, Dublin’s own badass rock ‘n’ roll trio. But before that, there were stellar acts to warm the audience up.

Aoife Underwater got proceedings underway, and despite hearing people ask who the band were, it’s safe to say that by the time they had exited the stage, nobody in attendance was going to forget them. Aoife Underwater brought a unique blend of beautiful female vocals, a solid rhythm section featuring some funky basslines and intricate guitars to entertain those who’d shown up early. This dreamy pop managed to sound like something from the 90’s remnant of The Cardigans, yet an entirely distinctive style of their own.

Leaders of Men followed Aoife Underwater, and on any other night they would have stolen the show completely. The Tallaght based quintet already have two quality EPs under their belt, and ooze some sort of incredibly amiable swagger when they take to the stage. At Ease is the highlight from a set that in itself was essentially perfect.

There really is very few bands that play with the vigor and intensity that The Minutes do. 2014 saw the release of their sophomore album, ‘Live Well, Change Often’ as well as a trio of sold out shows in Whelans throughout the year, and they were well deserving of the accolade of ringing in the new year.

By the time The Minutes took to the stage, the New Year was nearly upon us. Opening with Hold Your Hand off the latest release, the celebrations began. Singer/guitarist Mark Austin flaunted skull facepaint and the jacket that he wore for the Supernatural video, which was a nice touch (even if it did make him look a little bit creepy). A brief pause after third track, Secret History rang in the new year, as Austin leapt off the stage to hug audience members.

The first thing to hit the ears of those present was the impressive duo of Cherry Bomb and Fleetwood, both established fan favourites that were met with cheers, dancing and roars of approval. Guilt Quilt and the ever iconic Supernatural were also stand outs, with the latter featuring a lengthy extension and a staggering amount of improvised jamming.

Despite the set being relatively short, it didn’t seem to matter. 2015 had arrived in the style of a speeding car on fire, and there was only The Minutes to thank for that. However you feel about them, it’s impossible to deny the energy and sheer class that they bring to a live setting. The Minutes are without a doubt the best bunch of lads you could ring in a new year with.