Review: The ShowHawk Duo – Limelight, Belfast

With a viral video under their belt achieving over 4.5 million views on Youtube and being shared even more on Facebook, anticipation was high for the Showhawk Duo’s return to Belfast.

‘Easter Weekend’ is notoriously known for turning Belfast’s nightlife scene into a ghost town,  however this was far from the case at Limelight. The entire venue was packed out with fans eager to see the duo perform. I had the chance to meet and interview the band after the show and they were two of the most down to earth lads, who really made the time to interact with their fans.

The Showhawk Duo consists of the two young British guitarists Mikhail Asanovic and Jake Wright; the band started out as buskers and have now toured all over the world. The band received internet fame back in 2013 when a video of them playing at Tron Kirk, Edinburgh went viral. The duo, who do acoustic guitar covers of popular EDM tracks, were performing ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless, ‘Kernkraft 400‘ by Zombie Nation and ‘Sandstorm’ by Darude, when they shot to success. The video which was shared millions of times, captivated it’s audience by doing something which had never been done before. It was dance music but like you’ve never heard it before, it was two guys with guitars taking on some of the biggest global dance tracks in a new and relevant way.

When asked if this was when they felt they had become famous, the boys said “We don’t feel famous, we are still regular people.” They also mentioned how they prefer only being famous for their music rather than image or appearance. They can walk down the street and not be recognised but as soon as someone hears their sound “that does the talking for them”.

The concert began with the familiar strum of guitar strings, immediately going into their well know rendition of ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless grabbing the attention of the audience. Upon going to the concert I thought, I’ve never been to see a band that doesn’t sing. However, I soon realised that this was part of the beauty of The ShowHawk Duo, once they played the first few bars of a song the entire audience would start to sing along to the track, which was an all round incredible experience. When I asked the band how they choose what songs to cover they said; “If you can play a melody and recognise the song within a second of playing it, you’re on to a winner.” The cleverness of this shows how they create such a vibrant atmosphere within the audience.

The highlight of the night was definitely the duo’s performance of ‘Freed from Desire‘ by Gala. The band said they couldn’t wait to play it in Belfast especially, after being inspired by videos of Northern Ireland fans at the Euros in 2016 adapting the song to ‘Will Grigg’s on Fire’ . They knew the reaction they could get and they certainly achieved it. The show was an all round success and the band were certainly on a high while talking to them after. Now half way through their tour ADM Tour, they are still set to play sold out gigs in Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool, finishing up the tour in London. When asked about plans for the summer the boys noted they are already lined up to play Glastonbury and Boomtown. Averaging two festivals a week last summer, they hope to keep up their busy schedule this year.

On performing in Belfast the band said “Last year was good but tonight just totally topped it”. If you get a chance to see The Showhawk Duo live I would defiantly take it. Two of the nicest guys, who deserve all their success.