For the inaugural night of ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’, Encore NI presented to us 3 very different but exciting local bands in the form of His New Atlas, Frank&Beans and The Late Twos.
To kick off the night, His New Atlas took to the stage. Led by 18 year old Eoghan O’Hagan, this band had a dark, moody and sometimes gloomy feel to their music and style. O’Hagan immediately managed to create an atmosphere inside of the Boutique Bar at the Pavilion as the band ranged between faint vocals and understated drumming to loud but melodic bawls. The sound created by this 3 piece was intimate, personal and as O’Hagan described himself ‘emotional’. The band managed to have the bar silenced by the slow but loud songs that could be best described as ‘break up’ music. Indeed the sound this band created would not be out of place playing in the background of a scene from an American TV show where the boy has just been dumped at the train station with the rain falling around him. The set culminated in the song, ‘Pillars’, a loud, epic and vocal stretching number that left the audience in no doubt that this night had got underway.
Next up we had Frank&Beans who took to the stage and welcomed the ever growing crowd with a wall of sound. The band played a strong, confident set that consisted of several original songs mixed in with covers. Their sound created by the drums and guitar work of this 2 piece was a hard edgy rock sound with blues rifts thrown in for good measure. Using only your ears to measure this band, you would not be able to tell that there were only 2 guys on stage playing as the skilled guitar work and immense drumming more than made up for the lack of bodies and instruments. It was clear that this band were enjoying themselves and there was good chemistry between the 2 as they looked to each other to acknowledge the end of one song and the start of another. They looked well pleased with themselves (and so they should) as left exited the stage as having rocked the small bar and its audience.
The night was then well and truly rounded up by The Late Twos. This band, who have been on the local scene for the last few years have a great indie pop/rock sound, style and appeal. Their stage presence is led in the form of front man, lead vocalist, Matty Legge. His brash, energetic, confident, yet likeable manner mixed with the catchy songs and lyrics makes this band very hard to ignore. Indeed Legge seems to feed of the confidence he has in his band mates around him, never looking to check where or when the current song will be finishing or changing direction. The band are well honed and have clearly played together on many shows.
The bands set featured songs of both old and new EP’s including their self titled track ‘The Late Twos’, ‘Modette to Ladette’, ‘Don’t Want to Stop This Dance’, ‘Get Down Before I Pull You Down’ and ‘Nevermind’. They also chose to include carefully picked covers of Teenage Kicks, Alternative Ulster and My Generation which were well enjoyed by all of the audience who were able to sing along.
Throughout the show, Legge had a good interaction with the audience as he forcefully approached the front of the stage and looked into the audience eyes as he encouraged them to ‘get up and dance’. Legge is not short of confidence but when he has a band of this calibre behind him with a ‘bagful of songs’ there would be no reason to be.
The Late Twos style of quickly moving from high tempo song to another suits well and doesn’t give the audience to catch their breath. The sound that this band continues to make throughout could well be likened to established indie artists such as The Pigeon Detectives or The Courteeners – praise indeed for this quality local talent. But beyond that the band has an appeal that could (and should!) be exported further afield…
Overall this was a great night that showcased the quality of young enthusiastic talent that exists in the NI music scene. Encore NI – job well done! Michael Chapman, GiggingNI.com