The Strypes at The Academy Dublin, Thursday 19th September 2013
Everyone has had that moment, that sinking feeling when someone younger than you succeeds at something that you still try to convince yourself will happen for you someday soon. On Thursday night it was Cavan four-piece The Strypes‘ turn to make a few of the older members of the audience sigh in despair. However, that feeling soon evaporates and is replaced by one of pure excitement, The Strypes are a throwback to the old days, the blissful pre X-Factor days. Things are looking up for Irish music, especially in the knowledge that aged just 16 and 17, their début album ‘Snapshot‘ landed in the top 5 of the UK charts.
The venue was nearing capacity as the kings of support acts Raglans took to the stage shortly after 8 o’clock. Admitting they were short on time, the foursome blasted through a collection of new songs before playing their better known tunes such as The Man From Glasgow and the explosive Digging Holes, cowbell in tow. Old and new material combined point at a very exciting début album to come.
As the lights dimmed, out strolled the legendary B.P Fallon to address the crowd. A few poetic lines and a rapturous applause later, The Strypes bound onstage diving into a rambunctious rendition of Mystery Man. She’s So Fine was an early highlight which saw them perform with all the confidence and swagger of a band on the scene for decades. The material may not be all that original but the musicianship on show, never mind the borderline arrogant showmanship is so far beyond their years that it is quite a shock to the system.
Guitarist Josh McClorey takes the mic to thank the crowd for buying their album, with special mention for those from Cavan who splashed admitting that as a Cavan man himself he “wouldn’t have bought it, you know how cheap we are.” Hometown Girls and Blue Collar Jane get the crowd’s vocals warmed up before The Strypes explode into their most well-known track to date, Bo Diddley’s You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover, frontman Ross Farrelly shedding his über cool persona for a minute beaming from ear to ear as the crowd scream back the lyrics. Another cover, The Kinks’ Got Love If You Want It, provides the highlight of the night as the group swap instruments for a while, showcasing their ability to shake things up a little. Route 66 closes a whirlwind 21 song set as energetically as it began.
While it’s abundantly clear that The Strypes have talent; a vast amount of it in fact, they still haven’t quite proved themselves yet. Their début album ‘Snapshot’ has been lauded throughout the media, however most critics will agree that the material lacks variety, and there are still question marks over their ability to pen their own material as the best received songs on the night are covers. That said, Thursday night could go down as the gig of the year so far. Scarily, it could have been so much better.
The Strypes Photo Gallery
Photos: Mark Earley