John Hennessy has been a stalwart of the Irish music scene for years, and for the past six of those he has been plying his trade back in his native Limerick under the moniker Seoda Shows. Of late he has taken up residency in Dolan’s, and it is there that the celebration of six years of Seoda Shows takes place.
A very early supporter of Fontaines D.C., Hennessy not only turned to the band to headline the festivities, but also to curate the rest of the night’s line-up, and what an excellent bill it is – a superb showcase of some of the finest bands in the land.
First up it is Dublin’s Odd Morris who make a huge impression for a band playing their first gig in Limerick. With their brand of brooding indie rock they expertly fill the massive hole left by the sad demise of Slow Riot. It’s a performance that has an impressed audience nodding in appreciation.
Speaking of Slow Riot, Liam & Paul from that band have joined forces with Ash O’Connor, John Ahern and Sean O’Mahony to reinvigorate local band Fonda who’ve evidently expanded their sound, bringing in more indie guitar pop vibes to their repertoire. Sounding like a latter day New Order at times, their set is brought to a glorious conclusion with Nostalgia, a beast of a tune and a sure fire single.
Next up its Just Mustard whose debut album ‘Wednesday’ is rightly in contention for the upcoming Choice Music Prize, and hearing it showcased live is absolutely thrilling. With the mesmerising presence of lead singer Katie Ball at the centre of the pulsating sonic storm that the band produces, their set is a droning tour-de-force.
Most bands might be daunted by being sandwiched in between Just Mustard and the night’s headliners, but not Cork’s long-time shoegazers The Altered Hours,who put on their best ever display in this venerated venue. It’s a whirlwind performance with Cathal and Elaine swapping vocal duties, which at times almost seems incidental to the swirling swell of feedback, perfectly illustrated by the ever wondrous Sweet Jelly Roll, whilst Dig Early is a undulating climatic triumph.
And so the stage is set for the main act, Fontaines D.C., and as if they have been prodded by the quality of the night’s other performances they explode on to the Dolan’s stage with a rip-roaring take on their current single, Big. The pace of their opening salvo is unrelenting, culminating in the monstrous crescendo that is Hurricane Laughter. Indeed, the entire set sees them reach heights not seen in Dolan’s in a long time – figuratively and literally – with guitarist Carlos O’Connell making his way to the balcony via the roof of the bar on several occasions. Given the sonic assault that they and the rest of the night’s performers have delivered, its slightly perplexing that they choose to bring their set to a close with the relatively sedate Dublin City Sky, but in the end it provides a perfectly judged comedown to a night of so many highs.