Friday saw Volume Control’s latest local music showcase, featuring four up-and-coming bands from near and far: Dream Awake, The Geneva Experiment, Kate’s Party and The Sea, Close By.
The bands boasted a range of experience, from second gig ever (Dream Awake) to getting on for five years together under their belt (Kate’s Party). Much to their credit, Dream Awake gave an accomplished performance, with their own brand of heavy, guitar-driven hardcore rock: they didn’t seem new to the stage at all, despite their young ages. Contrarily, The Geneva Experiment, more seasoned musicians, gave a very introverted and unengaging performance, with lead singer James Moore alternately crouching in a ball at the front of the stage and singing to the drummer at the back. Their heavy sound had a definite Chili Pepper vibe, and the final song of their short set had very pleasing Rage Against The Machine overtones.
My personal highlight of the evening was Dublin-based four-piece Kate’s Party. Their sound, to me, was variously reminiscent of a female-fronted Dashboard Confessional and an Irish-lilted Allison Weiss. With an album and an EP already in their repertoire, they’re steadily building a presence in Ireland and a direction. On Friday, that direction was north, as they enjoyed their first gig in Belfast, and also, much to their delight, their first Boojum north of the border.
Headliners of the night were The Sea, Close By… a name stolen from Albert Camus and musical influences borrowed from The Smashing Pumpkins, amongst others. Fronted by the subdued duo of guitarist Alastair Greyson and bassist Kate Cannon, TSCB ran through “Modern Mercury”, “Like TV”, “School”, “Communicate”, “Eyes”, “Coffee & Cigarettes”, “Plateau”, “Kissy Face”, “Poetry” and “Collisions” … a mixture of originals and covers from the likes of Nirvana & Jimmy Eats World. Their new album “Duke” is on its way soon… a low-fi feast of new songs.
Finally, a word for Volume Control, an enthusiatic bunch of teenage gig promoters based at the Oh Yeah Centre: they did a great job of organising the night, with doors opening on time and acts meeting their stage times perfectly. Keep up the good work! Paul Woods, GiggingNI.com