In life most people get up, go to work, leave to go home and then sleep; for us in the local rock and metal scene it works a little differently. We get up, we go to work, we go down to the Limelight to enjoy some local acts, we go home but the following Saturday was a rather special night. The hounds are loose and the bitches are back, as Belfast’s leading New Wave Of Irish Heavy Metal band’s Rabid Bitch Of The North launch their first full length album; ‘Nothing But A Bitter Taste.’
Before I start the review I would like to wish health and best wishes to the gentleman who fainted just before the show started. Following the incident, another three piece heavy metal act, Just Me And The Devil, who travelled all the way Dublin (even though the band was formed in Brazil) kicked off the night’s proceedings. Though little was known about these gents before the show, their style of old school metal suited the style of the night; albeit a muddy sound mix and some confidence issues. That being said they received a well appreciated reception from the scarce Belfast crowd.
Though the first band were relatively unknown, the next band Bad Boat certainly aren’t as they have been on the scene for well over decade. While the style of music shifted to a more stoner rock style the lads shook the ground of the Limelight 2 with their huge sound plus lead vocalist Tom Clarke brought forth his inner mad man with an energetic performance. Personally, the band were not my cup of tea and the fact that Clarke had a terrible vocal mix plus the band at one point took forever to tune their instruments didn’t help my opinion of them; but they still left a great impression on their long time supporters.
Running on very little sleep and lots of tins of Monster following their show in Limerick the night before, Rabid Bitch Of The North thundered onto the stage as lead vocalist Joe McDonnell’s high pitched voice called forth his fellow hounds. You honestly couldn’t tell the lads were running on very little energy as they pounded their way through classics such as ‘Sisyphus’ and ‘Defending Two Castles’ but of course not forgetting that this night is all about their new album.
The album did dominate most of their set from ‘Chance’ being about…well… c*nts according to Joe, to the single ‘The Missionary’ plus the signature RBOTN song ‘Trapped In 1999’ being about the rise of nu-metal in the late 90s. Though the previous bands had sound issues these were all fixed for the hair bear bunch; especially when it came to the twin amped sound of Belfast’s most underrated guitarist and moustache extraordinaire Gerry Mulholland.
All in all, the bitches proved once again why they are both one the finest metal bands in Northern Ireland plus one of my personal favourite acts of all time and of course, we at Gigging NI wish them all the best with their new album; now to brush my teeth to try and get rid of that bitter taste.