The Academic at Whelan’s, Dublin, Thursday, 29 October 2015

Dublin brothers Cry Monster Cry take to the stage before The Academic tonight in Whelan’s, and their set fully showcases why exactly people have been talking about them so much in the last few months. With beautifully put together harmonies (and equally beautiful voices), Cry Monster Cry showcase their original take on folk (plus elements of loads of other genres), getting the crowd suitably warmed up for the rest of the gig.

For the penultimate show of their tour, The Academic return to Dublin and you would swear they have been away for years. The sheer amount of excitement and anticipation in the room is that which is normally reserved for bands who rarely make it to Dublin. In fact, The Academic played DCU six days previous to tonight’s show. This hype seems to be pretty much constant at the moment for the band though, and tonight shows exactly why that is.

After getting a lot of exposure with their massive Different, there was a little bit of a question mark above them as to whether or not they could follow it up. Questions of this kind are inescapable. A young band like the Academic are always going to be hard pressed to prove to people that they weren’t just “that band with that song”.

It’s unfortunate then, that the follow up single was slightly underwhelming. Northern Boy verged a little bit too close into Kodaline territory, shedding most of the edge which separated The Academic from other bands around at the moment.

But tonight’s show proves that The Academic have a lot more to show. Songs like Super Scary and Bear Claws demonstrate the indie rock foursome at their best – as the writers of well thought out, clever and catchy tunes. One thing that can happen to a band like this is that their whole set starts to sound a bit too samey, not for The Academic though – they throw in slower songs like Thought I Told You, providing enough dynamism to keep the gig interesting.

The love for this band is clear from the reaction of the crowd, and the band themselves are noticeably taken aback by it, but (if tonight’s show is anything to go by) they better get used to it, because there is a definite sense that things are only going to get bigger from here on out for The Academic.