Overhead, The Albatross at The Loft Venue, Maynooth, on September 24th 2015

Having released the first single from their debut album(which we exclusively premiered), played their biggest gig to date supporting Kodaline, and appeared at both Castlepalooza and Knockanstockan, 2015 has seen Overhead, The Albatross reach heights they probably never envisaged. It’s even less likely that they ever envisaged playing to a capacity crowd of c. 200 people in a venue that previously served as an Indian restaurant but such were the scenes on Friday night as the instrumental sextet played a sold-out show at the Loft Venue, Maynooth.

Support on the night comes from Megacone, WOB! and Ben Bix. It’s the latter of the trio that is the most impressive of the support acts. Anyone familiar with Bix’s work with Meltybrains? will know that he doesn’t really do ‘conventional’ and tonight’s set is no different. Just him and a drummer, they serve up a deluge of off-kilter, no-wave noise that isn’t too dissimilar to Girl Band.

Continuing the night’s theme of unconventional approaches to music, Overhead, the Albatross open their set with  Telekinetic Forest Guard – a song that clocks in just shy of nine minutes in lengthA mix of subtle keys, chiming guitar and violin, it completely justifies its lengthy running time. The violin in particular really stands out tonight, sounding exquisite in a venue this size. Pigonometry follows next and takes things in a more angular direction. Think, Thank, Thunk sees another directional change – this one finding a middle ground between Radiohead and Tool in terms of sound.

While we are unfortunately not  treated to the sight of anyone playing the stepladder(as is the case in the song’s video), Big Man River offers the highlight of the night nonetheless. Powered by Ben Garret’s consistent drumming, the song builds and swells to an epic crescendo of oh’s and ahh’s. A definite contender for the best Irish song released this year. Footprints In The Blood Soaked Snow closes out the night – a song that’s been knocking around for a few years,  it’s a testament to the band’s quality that it still sounds fresh.

It wouldn’t be an Overhead, The Albatross review without mentioning their forever delayed debut album. Judging by Friday’s performance, it will be worth the wait.