Pick Your Rock and Metal

Monday, September 12, 2016

LIVE REVIEW: Steel, style and substance as Irontown Diehards, Rosco's Riot and Thieves of Ennui storm the Limelight

MANY times bands have style and no substance. Other bands have substance and no style. But when you combine stagecraft, style and real substance then you get a performance worthy of note, a performance that captures the soul and essence of rock 'n' roll.

Such was the show put on by Irontown Diehards on Saturday last (10th September) in the Limelight2, Belfast.

Taking place in the traditional Distortion Project early evening slot, Irontown were backed by two 'upcoming' acts, Thieves of Ennui and Rosco's Riot.

With many of the audience arriving later the opening slot was a challenge for Thieves Of Ennui, who were down a player on the night.

They put a lot of energy into their allocated time and have many a nice arrangement to their tracks. However, the edge of alt rock and time signatures that recall mid-period Biffy Clyro suggest that Thieves of Ennui need to reach out for a more distinctive sound.

They have potential, but need to focus more on their direction - are they hard rockers or somewhere in the alt/indie range.

Bringing more heft to the party Rosco's Riot have a large sound and a large set of songs. This sits on the heavier end of hard rock.

Despite illness in the ranks the Riot bashed out a muscular range of tracks. And, it takes a large set to tackle the Prince track 'Kiss' and pull it off.

Sharp suited, stylish and resembling steampunk looking rockers out of an alternate universe Irontown Diehards have been polishing their live sets to such an extent that the songs, the moves and the stagecraft roll on to the stage like a well-oiled gear clicking into place.

And, from opener 'My Pain' until they left the stage 45 minutes later this was a consummately professional performance without ever losing the emotion of rock.

Phil towers over the audience, but still connects through banter as well as vocal dynamics and what are now becoming trademark moves and gestures.

The whole band stay in character throughout the set - something that some acts forget. The best bands stay 'in character' as soon as they hit the boards.

Andrew guitar gymnastics beguile and provide subtle intonations amidst the flurry of finger fury, especially on the likes of 'Sick' and 'Step Inside'.

Powered by Mark (bass) and Gordy (drums) rhythm rollercoaster Irontown Diehards have a potent presence. Sure, some may see the suits and hats as something of an affectation, but that is to miss the point.

The 'image' aligns with the music, the music aligns with the image. This is style with substance, this is stylish substance. This is rock 'n' roll.

Review by Jonny
Pictures by Jonny and Lizzie
Reproduction by explicit written permission only
Picture by Lizzie Torbitt
Picture by Lizzie Torbitt

Picture by Lizzie Torbitt

Picture by Jonny

Picture by Lizzie Torbitt

Picture by Lizzie Torbitt

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