Local bands take to the stage in Belfast to support The Sun Shadows as they launch their first EP. Upstairs in the Voodoo Bar was the venue for four local rock n roll bands to promote their music and kick start the weekend. The bands were mixing with the guests and selling their EP’s as the DJ provided us with rock n roll tunes to wet our appetite for the night ahead. Not only where the bands dressed in a style similar to that of Oasis, even the guests looked like members of bands as the venue was filled with a laid back and cool vibe.
Two Tone Revolver kicked off the night with some of their own songs and some cover songs ranging from The Black Keys to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and even Drake. The young lads warmed up for Pretty Cartel who were up next. They stepped onto the stage in style, smartly dressed and full of swagger, a band who are sounding better each time they perform. A five piece indie rock n roll band who come from Lisburn and have previously released their own 5 track EP (Tales of the Working Class) in April 2013. They treated the crowd to songs from their EP and played a few new songs which went down really well with the crowd. Songs that would have went down a storm during the 90’s, happy guitar pop songs, influences and sounds similar to that of Oasis and the Small Faces. Making reference to Northern Ireland, new song Streets was the standout song from these guys and judging by the crowd reaction it will become a fans favourite. If you like foot tapping guitar songs that are short and catchy then you’ll like Pretty Cartel, with plans to release an album this summer, the future is looking bright for these lads.
Next up was Belfast band the Echo Raptors, a 4 piece Rock ‘n’ Roll band formed in late 2009, who have already supported the Charlatans and Happy Mondays, completed a small UK tour and made the new bands shortlist for Glastonbury 2014. ‘She’s So Free’ was the bands first EP released in 2013 which features 3 songs. when they kicked off it was like I’d dipped into the 1990’s, sounds of Cast and The Verve came to mind, they’ve a front man who has a fantastic strong voice backed with passion and a great stage presence, like a young Richard Ashcroft and makes it seem so effortless. These lads have resurrected the Britpop sound but made it sound new and fresh and created their own unique music. Playing old songs and some new ones, these lads stole the show – songs such as ‘Change My Way’ has a great chorus and jangly guitar hook that instantly grabs you and has you hooked. ‘She’s So Free’ screams out rock n roll and had the crowd singing along, if they don’t get a record deal it will be a crime. With a new EP coming out soon from these guys let’s hope they get the chance to play to a bigger audience and gain more exposure, there the real deal.
Finally come midnight The Sun Shadows took to the stage to loud cheers and a packed floor to showcase their new EP Pictures in the Clouds. Formed in late 2012 by 5 friends and their mutual love of music from the 60s, 90s, Soul, Indie and Rock n Roll. Think laid back indie rock, with brilliantly loud guitar riffs. A sound similar to that of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, yet still creating their own sound backed with a keyboard, harmonica and tambourine. These guys entertained the crowd and jammed away as they played their way through the new EP, the highlight of the set was the brilliant ‘Twisted Mistress’, with a long outro which saw the lead singer, get the crowd involved as the rest of the band grooved away on their guitars. I left the venue with the new EP, surprised yet proud that there’s bands here in Northern Ireland making such good music.
Thanks to the bands for making this night possible and hopefully with a bit of luck these lads can gain more fans and play their music to bigger audiences. Rock n Roll is alive still in Northern Ireland and it isn’t going away, make sure you check these bands out. Brian Alcorn, GiggingNI.com