The Shamrock Ball – Bogan’s Bar, Omagh
There are plenty of places offering traditional music on Saint Patrick’s Day, so it is always great when a venue offers a decent alternative. On this occasion, Bogans Bar in Omagh are hosting the Shamrock Ball which from the line up has the possibility to turn the craic and volume all the way up to eleven.
The first band to take the stage is Sense Deficiency who kicked of the night in the best way possible, with an aggressive dose of Anarcho-Punk. They kicked of their set with a hard-hitting cover of ‘Vendetta’ which was originally performed by Mike V and the Rats. Joshua took on the mantle of lead vocalist and showcased his ever-growing talent as a singer.
Not ones to let the energy fall below an unacceptable level, the band kept it going with Negated Utopia from the debut EP Will Think For Braincells. Deano was back on vocals and impressed me with his talent as a lead singer and a guitarist. He has an inherent intensity when he sings, giving the lyrics definition and life.
After a cover of Super Drugs by P.A.I.N, the band treated the crowd to new material, Petty and Decay which are earmarked for inclusion on a future release. Both songs showcased the band’s affection for all things Ska-Punk, with Petty showcasing an excellent vocal delivery and Decay delivering jarring and intense instrumentation.
Three times is a charm as the band included yet another new song in the set called Oh My Doge which can be best described as a short burst of Punk intensity. The band then performs a solid and respectful cover of Guns of Brixton originally by The Clash. Charles was not only superb on this song, but throughout the set. His drumming is solid, reliable and creative and continues to prove himself as an irreplaceable fixture in any band he is involved with.
In a complete left field move, the band performs Can I Borrow a Feeling? which was originally featured in The Simpsons. Joshua steps up to the microphone once again and gives a solid rendition of the song. The instrumentation is also solid and receives a tremendous response from the crowd. The band concluded their set with two more songs from their debut EP, ScaremongRR and Proudhon.
The second band to take the stage was Fermanagh lads, Attack the Day who made their long-awaited return to the town. Although the band were down a guitarist and are now officially a quartet for the foreseeable future, they admirably held their ground and proved that they could successfully function with this line-up.
The band kicked of their set with a cover of The Hell Song and then proceeded to turn the Punk to eleven with a rendition of Murder the Government by NOFX. Although the band has an abundance of original material, their set on this occasion mostly consisted of covers; however, this did not take anything away from the band’s performance. It was energetic and intense, with the crowd taking notice and enjoying a superb presentation from a group of talented musicians.
Another Sum 41 cover was performed which was Baby You Don’t Wanna Know which was excellently performed. The next song was The Bridges I Burn, an original song by the band and one that will be featured on a future release. Their first EP Shadows was represented with a performance of Alive which has lost none of its charm.
The band concluded their set with a cover that has become synonymous with them, Omen by Prodigy. It sounded fantastic and was performed with the utmost intensity and intent. Overall, the band’s set was fantastic and I was not disappointed. I have to commend the lads for pushing forward through a situation, which could have ultimately caused the demise of the band and coming out stronger and better for it. The future is looking bright for Attack the Day and I look forward to witnessing it.
Mosmo Strange are fast becoming a band that need to be seen live and this performance was no exception. The band kick of their set with Feels Good Man from their debut EP Art and then treat the crowd, by debuting some new material, Dark Sun Glasses which gives a great indication of the band’s future.
For the foreseeable future the band seems to have found some stability with the multi-talented musician, Michael Hodkinson who provided a solid backbone for the band throughout. Perhaps it is due to their history in Part Time Pilots, but the rhythm section, which included Eamonn Doherty, gelled well together.
A standout moment was witnessing Gavin Scott take the crowd in the palm of his hands and command them to sing the chorus of Curly Sue. This is one of those special moments which not only show how well the bands material resonates with people, but also giving an indication of the potential this band has as a live act.
Guitarist Nolan Donnelly had the unfortunate luck of breaking a string during their performance of Roastercoaster, but this did not cause a screeching halt to the bands momentum. They showed their high calibre of musicianship and working around the mishap by jamming on the riff for Radio Friendly Dick until Nolan could rejoin the band on stage. It takes skill and confidence to ensure that a problem like this does not affect the overall performance, and since this is live music, it is going to happen. They concluded their set with the aforementioned tune and left it so, that the upcoming bands had to truly bring their A-game.
Out of the six bands that performed tonight, the lads from Warrenpoint, The Shout are the only band that I have not seen live. It was their first gig in Omagh, so it would be interesting to see how the crowd would react to them. It was also disclosed that their guitarist, Dermot, is also from Omagh so it was inevitable that the band would play at a venue in the town eventually.
Standout tracks were On and On and The Runaway which brought to mind later career Sum 41, Bring Me The Horizon and perhaps a slight touch of The Script. Although this not usually the type of music I would personally listen too, I have to commend the band for writing some killer songs and giving a solid live performance.
There was plenty of back and forth banter with lead singer Colm and the crowd, especially when it came to introducing two songs that were as off then not properly titled; Hans Gruber and the hilariously named Beaver Patrol. I had an opportunity to speak with the band after their set and when asked if they would play Omagh again, they said that if they can, they will. If this should happen, you can be sure that I will be the first in line.
After a short interlude, the second to last band, Black Chapels takes the stage. They kick of their set of with My Dying Day and continue the momentum on with Dying Breed. Darren Miller is excellent in his role as lead singer and guitarist. His voice has character, which gives the lyrics he sings tremendous emotional depth and value; songs such as Broken Heroes and Sunday Streets greatly benefit from this.
Darren’s guitar playing works well with his partner in crime Francis McNally who is simply put, a superb musician. People speak highly of his guitar work and from this performance; it is easy to see why. Darren’s brother, Mark is no slouch on his respective instrument and provides a solid backbone to the material.
As mentioned previously, Charles Knox is an asset to any band that is fortunate to have him as a member. Taking on the load of pulling double duty with different instruments, Charles seemingly takes this in his stride. He is a talented musician whose performance on bass was nothing short of impressive. The band concluded their set with Echoes and Thatcher 2.0 and leaves the stage to a crowd who wanted more.
With a crowd at a fever pitch, the headline act for the evening, Part Time Pilots, take the stage to a glorious reception. The band kicks of their set with Tally Ho Amigo which is a fun and enjoyable song, with a chorus that is too infectious, not to sing along with. As the occasion was Saint Patrick’s Day, it was only right to perform some appropriate music, which comes in the form of I’m Shipping Up to Boston, originally by The Dropkick Murphys. This was a cover that the band made their own and got the crowd even more riled up.
Speaking of the crowd, who at this point had pushed themselves up to the stage which left little room for myself to get some photographs of the action; the atmosphere was simply electric. Is it any wonder why they are one of the premiere bands of the Omagh music scene?
The band then proceeds to perform a solid selection of material from their two albums which concluded with Throwing Shapes. This is song that never fails to get the crowd going. After a solid cover of No One Knows, the band ask the bar’s manager for one more song; Dance Fucker Dance which concludes the night off in the best way possible.