Halfway through their set it’s clear that the band already have the guts of a very strong album. Not only that, but they are TIGHT! Like really tight, their songs are full of ridiculous rhythmic stops and stabs alongside drastic yet fluid dynamic changes.
I’m not quite sure how to define this, there are elements of pop, rock, jazz, R&B, country and a dollop of funk. Some of the vocal harmonies are straight out of backstreet boys territory (in a good way though!). This is pop-rock with real substance.
Anthemic at its core, sometimes uplifting, sometimes heart wrenching, these songs are built to be replayed. It’s only after multiple listens that you get to fully appreciate everything that’s going on in these skillfully layered compositions. Watch out, when they release a full long player you won’t be able to escape it.
Harbouring Oceans are a new 5 piece alt-pop band from Kilkenny. Their members (Dan Pearson, brothers Geoff & Benedict Warner-Clayton, Ken Farrell & Thomas Donoghue) are no strangers to the Irish music scene, having cut their teeth in various bands including The Cold Draw and Chemical Addiction.
Harbouring Oceans first single, ‘ENSO’ is a distinct departure from these roots. It’s an uplifting, harmony driven journey that squeezes an awful lot into it’s 4 minute timeline.
You get the sense that this is a band ready to deliver the goods right out of the gate. The arrangement of the various instruments blend effortlessly into a beautiful soundscape.
The band have almost completed their first Irish tour which was wide ranging and ambitious, 9 shows spread over 6 counties. Their final show is this Thursday in Dublin’s Button Factory, with support from the incredible Vernon Jane, We Were Giants and Farah Elle. Tickets are €10 and are available from Eventbrite.
Overhead the Albatross took over the Workman’s Club in Dublin last Saturday for what promised to be a night to remember. Participant started things off, playing some of the songs off his new EP ‘Content’. These songs are really great, but the live iterations were less fully formed than I was expecting. While everything was there, the energy seemed to dip in parts that were heavy on the backing tracks. Participant could definitely benefit from more involved live arrangements or possibly a live band. Either way I’m very interested to see what he does next.
The crowd started to swell for Galway Electro-Rockers Race The Flux. The band made their presence felt immediately, bursting in to ‘Olympus Mons’ from their Olympians EP. These guys really set the tone for the evening, coaxing the crowd into coming closer and rewarding them for their bravery with song after song of chest thumping RAWK! Upcoming single ‘Matty Rusko’ is a welcome addition and the instantly recognisable ‘Can I’ threatens to bring the house down. If you get the chance to see these guys don’t hesitate, their recent Electric Arena set at Electric Picnic suggest that they won’t be gracing such small stages for long.
At last the main event! Overhead, The Albatross made their way to the stage to greet a now completely sold out crowd. The guys really outdid themselves in terms of lighting and stage production and it really adds to the already electric atmosphere. ‘Flubirds’ is first up, starting slow to ease the crowd in to things before building to a triumphant climax. Every person in the room now knows what they’re in for. ‘Telekinetic Forest Guard‘ comes sweeping in next followed by some new tracks ‘Bara’ and ‘Daeku’. Could these be from the fabled first album? Let’s hope so, because they’re both fantastic! Just when things were starting to get sweaty, disaster struck. 2 minutes into the bands most recent release Big River Man, the power in the entire venue(and half of Temple Bar) just went. It was a strange moment, it happened really suddenly so the crowd we’re still jumping and Ben was still playing the drums along side some really tinny sounding unamplified electric guitars. Than everyone was just standing around confused for a second before they realised what had happened. Someone actually captured the moment here:
Frontman Joe, never one to let a good crowd go unsurfed launched himself off the stage and got carried all the way to the back of the room.
Lot’s of chants of ‘LADDER, LADDER, LADDER’ ensued and then it just kind of….ended. Well, although a little disappointing it was definitely memorable and for me that’s enough. Here’s the full version of ‘Big River Man’ for anyone who’s jonesing for it after the show! Make sure to check out the photos below.