Belfast
20 Jul, Saturday
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Review: Daddy Long Legs – Black Box, CQAF

Stellar acts from across the globe have flocked to the city throughout the month of May but none quite like tonight’s guests. This evening, as we enter the tail end of the CQAF, the people of Belfast have the pleasure of greeting their ‘rock and roll salvation’ with Brooklyn based three-piece Daddy Long Legs.

The upcoming unholy communion brings its own brand of potent electricity as today sees the release of Lowdown Ways – Daddy Long Legs’ brand new album. The black box crowd is feeling far from low however, with a strong turn out lining the bar ready for The Saberjets to get things started.

Describing themselves as a ‘lowdown, white-knuckle, rockin’ slop’, The Saberjets’ are already seeing eye to eye with tonight’s top liner. Glam-bopping to their own beat, the four-piece – five if you count Bill Johnston’s pearly white double bass – are a larger than life trip. Their old-school set delivers rock n roll classics with their own distinctive twists and even succeeds in getting a few of the crowd up to jive.

Next up on tonight’s genre-spanning bill are a band who have plenty of memories on Hill Steet where the Black Box finds its home. Legendary first-wavers in the Northern Ireland punk hall of fame, Protex, take things into overdrive with their signature power-punk. It’s a fun set that spans their lengthy career from crowd favourite 1978’s ‘Don’t Ring Me Up’, to brand new material and a few covers for good measure.

The time has finally come for Daddy Long Legs to take to the stage and the crowd braces themselves to drink from the heady, sweaty, stew of delirious rock and roll to come.

Frontman Brian Hurd, backed by his brothers-in-arms Murat Akturk (guitar) and Josh Styles (drums), looms over his crowd clutching his microphone. With a screeching harmonica punch, they launch into opener ‘Long Johns Jump’ from 2014’s Blood From A Stone album. It’s loud and dirty blues – exactly what their audience has come for.

Resembling some sort of corrupt evangelical preacher come to lead you astray, Hurd’s bare-bone delivery is just one of the many things that make Daddy Long Legs an explosive watch.

Let’s not forget the reason why Daddy Long Legs are here, however, other than a very obvious compulsion to twist the ear of their devoted following with their supercharged garage-blues. There’s a new album to air.

New singles ‘Pink Lemonade’ and ‘Glad Rag Ball’ deliver on promises that Lowdown Ways would see sonic diversification for the band, bringing the trio down neon-lit hillbilly-glam alleyways.

Elsewhere the band throw out crowd pleasers left, right and centre in a pretty much flawless set. Leaving not a single non-believer in the house by the end of the evening’s proceedings, Daddy Long Legs skip town safe in the knowledge that the CQAF won’t forget tonight in a hurry.