February 12th saw four great acts take to the stage at Menagerie Bar, a small intimate venue with a rocking vibe, for a night labelled ‘Songs about Love’.
A fitting pre Valentines warm up gig for anyone that enjoys love songs turned up loud, trading in violins and trumpets for screaming guitars and banging drums, this was a pre Valentines night done rock n roll style. The night also had an added bonus with it raising money for Ardmanagh Family and Community Centre, a worthy benefiter of any amount of charity I’m sure anyone would agree who is familiar with their work.
The night was opened up by Terry McGrath and his Father (named this also). They took to the stage to kick the night off with the most relaxed of all sets on the night, showcasing a simplistic stripped back performance that saw the father and son use only a guitar each and take it in turns to sing covers such as Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car and a couple of original tracks by Terry Snr, that brought the blues in kicking the door down of the place in brilliant fashion.
Once the two had finished up warming the watching eyes (which they done so with ease), it came time for what one could only describe as the most energetic band of the night, invading the stage with five members wielding guitars, drums, a harmonica and even something as simple as a whistle.
Sins of Flynn came to enjoy themselves on that stage, and how they did. With instrument changes, different members taking it in turns to sing and a back drop of solid bass lines accompanied by slick guitar riffs and sturdy rhythmic drumming, Sins of Flynn kept all us their guessing, throwing out bluesy, rocky, sometimes a little folk topped with funk tunes that made it impossible for this band to sound repetitive.
Next up where a band that didn’t just play on the stage, but shattered it, with their heavy riffs and overall impressive set. Petty Youth demonstrated why they are one of the bands to watch at the moment in the local music scene. The band from the offset took off with their own style of gut punching, unashamedly garage sounding rock n roll, in which anyone that was there could tell had either been brought together in some sheer moment of blissful musical eureka, or hard grafted, pulled through broken guitar strings, crumpled up lyric pages and mental blocks, to form the brilliant few minutes on stage that make the hours working for the song worth it. The entire set was filled with these kinds of original songs, backed up with the charismatic band themselves seeming at total comfort at all times on show.
Finally came a band no strangers to Gigging NI, the always humble Terror Pockets continue to jump leaps and bounds in the music scene, with their infectious optimism, energy and love for everything music, anyone that sees these lads live leave knowing they saw four guys on stage that live for music and not just the look of it all.
The band put on the usual energetic show they do, with brilliantly executed guitar solos, ever more impressive bass lines that shook the gut and an all in all rocking performance. During the bands set they played through a mix of covers and originals, in which included two of the band’s latest tracks coming this July in their next EP, with songs titled ‘Break the Chain’ and ‘I Don’t Want You To Go’, and rather than me describe to you the reader how rocking these two songs were on the night, I will instead quote frontman Matt. I think he described them best when he said the new songs are “anarchy fuelled, pure punk rock n roll”. A pleasure as always to see this band live once more and highly recommended to you the reader to see them for yourself. Niall Donnelly, GiggingNI.com