Space Jam – The Comet is Coming and Yonen take over The Sugar Club


Last Tuesday the Sugar Club was the scene for a journey of musical discovery courtesy of London Psychedelic-Jazz trio The Comet is Coming, with support from Dublin instrumentalists Yonen.

The latter act took us on a tour of the cosmos with their intergalactic instrumentals complete with a live AV show that really set this apart from your usual fare. At times frantic, at others soothing and sad. At one point guitarist Alan Dooley is coaxing what sounds like whale song out of his six string.

Such was the nature of the music and the quiet attentiveness of the crowd that the guys often had to announce when a piece was finished with a quick ‘Thank You!’ which was met with stunned applause. This band makes incredibly complex music and they are tight as hell live. Catch them as soon as you can.

Headliners The Comet is Coming are hard to define. Take 1 part jazz, 1 part psychedelia. Mix with smooth Sax and bake at a high bpm for 2 hours. Drummer Betamax Killer’s rhythmic stabs drive the tracks ahead while Danalogue The Conqueror on keys and King Shabaka on sax add embellishments and flourishes along the way. Be assured that their songs are even better than their names!

In other tracks the sax is clearly in the lead, laying the rhythm down with honks and squeals for the drums to follow before exploding into section long solos.

The crowd were loving it. By the second song the band had half the seated crowd down on the dance floor and it wasn’t much longer until the other half followed. The sheer scope of influences on display made for such an eclectic set. Some songs were straight up funk, some like mental techno tunes and others still leaning towards industrial rock like a funked up Nine Inch Nails.

The Comet is Coming could be accused of being slightly all over the place at times but when they hit that sweet spot and all joined in on the same groove, which was often, you could absolutely lose yourself too it. These guys are an unstoppable force, highly recommended ear-candy.

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PREMIERE: Irish instrumentalist math wizards Yonen release new track, ‘Tokyo’, ahead of UK Tour.

Following in the footsteps of And So I Watch You From Afar, Adebisi Shank, The Redkneck Manifesto, God is an Astronaut and joining the plethora of great instrumental music coming from this island are Yonen.

Yonen are 4 piece instrumental math rock band from Dublin. ‘Tokyo’ is their first official single but they’re no strangers to the live scene having already supported heavyweights such as Toe, TTNG, Overhead the Albatross, and Poly-Math to name but a few.

‘Tokyo’ is being released on the eve of a six date UK Tour this February with one man band/loop pedal purveyor Steve Strong.
The track itself is a 6:55 odyssey, journeying through the streets of Tokyo and seeing the city through the imagination of minds that have never been there. The motif stays fairly similar throughout but is treated to a dizzying array of changes in dynamics and effects, reminiscent of some of Three Trapped Tigers recent efforts, but a lot more jazzy.

Guitarist Cian Finlay told us a little bit about the writing process:

Our songs take place in hyperbolic and fantastical settings. Though Tokyo is a non fictional city, the song is merely capturing the inscape of the word “Tokyo” as an abstract – i.e. what images your mind conjures when you hear the word “Tokyo”.
(PS we’ve never been there so it’s all a lie. Shhhh!)

We see Tokyo as bustling with activity, strobing with vibrant colours, and hinting at a quirky cultural undercurrent. The protagonist (the listener) traverses the city throughout the track, beginning in the suburbs and making their way through to the center. The bustling busy ride patterns increase in activity on the journey in. The vibrant colourful synth tone gradually increases in sustain until exploding into an entirely new palette of colour (harmony).

Then the protagonist is introduced to the cultural quirks through the 8 bit production atop the cheeky melody. As our songs are experimental, it helps to have a well defined narrative of environment during the writing process to keep our piece coherent and consistent. Or, we could just get a singer.

Fun fact: In the first main melody, every mini phrase comprises of 4 notes. (…except for the 5th group…)

Fun fact: the synth tone is actually a bass running through a Zoom B3 Multi Effects Unit. Nice tone Bro.

Fun fact: The two guitarist mixed and produced the song together, and somehow are still friends.

There seems to be some big plans ahead for the single. Alongside the supporting tour of the UK, there will be both a full length animated music video and an interactive game released by the animation/programming team of Ross Ryder and Joey Breslin. These have been designed within the video game engine ‘Unity’ and also feature as the center-piece in the bands live show. The few sneak peeks they’ve given us of the project look very promising.

No Irish dates have been announced yet, but expect to see Yonen on the summer festival circuit later this year.

Keep up to date with Yonen on:
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