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Rebels Against the Pipeline @ The Pav

By: 
Mike McGrath Bryan - Drop-d

“…four bands from Cork doing their thing in aid of the Shell to Sea campaign…”

Our politicians tell us that people that are simply being pragmatic about our little island’s economic predicament, as well as the resulting long-term social rot that will surely consume us by the end of austerity, are all “doom and gloom”.

You know what? Look at the town of Rossport. When oil was found off the nearby coast, it should have sparked a bidding war that would have ended the 1980s recession (with enough left over to pay off the balance of “sovereign debt” created in 2008 by FF toadies at 2am behind all of our backs) in its tracks. Nope. It was handed to Shell by the Fianna Fail of the time in a joke of a deal that sees Ireland maybe or maybe not get royalties after they’ve deducted tax from what little they have to pay us, and in all likelihood, probably helped populate Charlie Haughey’s island with numerous specimens of endangered species clad in Italian silk shirts. Meanwhile, their drilling practices are experimental, which is all well and good, until you consider there’s a town nearby, that contains actual people, who may not know if something goes amiss until their house and everything in it gets swept down the road.

There’s so much more we could get into, but let’s stay on point, shall we?

Tonight is Rebels Against the Pipeline at the Pavilion: four bands from Cork doing their thing in aid of the Shell to Sea campaign, with punk-poet Wasps vs. Humans MCing. Raffles and such are available to aid the cause, with some admittedly large hampers for grabs. But first and foremost, the music.

The Tree Sleepers have been a sleeper fixture (no pun intended) of Cork gigs for a few years now, and their mongrel mix of blues, indie, punk and pop has been slowly perfected, the six-piece looking immediately comfortable on a major stage. LJ’s vocals occupy a strange space between sultry and tomboyish, and suit the goings-on perfectly, and while the Pav takes a few tunes to get warmed up and on the dancefloor (Ultrafiction meets with a single dancer, that dude with the weird Capoeira/breakdancing hybrid you see at gigs sometimes), by the time 21 Hookers kicks off, the front is populated with the night’s early jivers. Great stuff from a band that are ready for stages like this.

Wasps vs. Humans’ energetic delivery and keen wordsmithery stand out inbetween changeovers, but sadly are a little lost on some of the crowd, shifting between the bar and smoking area. Regardless, all bug-eyes and pointing at crowd-members, spoken-word broadsides like The Death of Celebrity drip with a dignified vitriol.

Half Man-Part Bicycle are a band we’ve heard much but not had much chance to check out live. This has been to our loss, at least from a stagecraft point of view, opening with a strange funk jam about Rossport, before launching headlong (literally in some cases) into an energetic blues/indie hybrid, that at times feels samey, but enough cheek exists in their frontman alone, a veritable ball of tension who alternates between seizing up at the mic stand and throwing himself over the stage rail, at one point heading into the upper tiers. Their eponymously-titled song is a skiffly blues seemingly at odds with the energy behind it, but there’s no doubting their prowess as musicians or entertainers.

Lamp‘s new power-trio configuration has worked wonders for them, tunes from album Sagittarius invested with the heft and power of their studio counterparts, and new tune 365 Knuckles is absolutely titanic in every manner. Their drop-of-a-hat tempo changes and heroically difficult flourishes simultaneously suck hardened gig-goers in, a spectacle nearing hypnosis, and confounding casual dancers in a glorious mess of awkward shape-throwing and confusion. Awesome. :-)

Recording magnate Perry Benthos has been a nebulous presence in Cork music for a while now, a cynical, business-oriented spectre that, while we cannot prove it, we suspect was responsible for those disappearing text hiccups we had last year. While we prepare litigation against their boss, it’s hard to stay mad at Trumpets of Jericho, their pointed, Kraut-inflected post-punk going down a treat with the people in attendance. Sarcasm at the ready, in tunes like Emigrant Song, the band’s usual stoic stage presence is eased slightly tonight, a confident performance delivered with now-trademark black humour.

After a raffle drawing so protracted and convoluted we’re officially calling for an independent inquiry, Hope is Noise hit the stage running with a fierce reprise of the medley from their album launch, Peace and Quiet kicking the set off before a one-two of Altitude Sickness and All Love and Nothing brings people down from the back. Das Ich is not so much played as wrought out of instruments and vocalist Daniel Breen‘s throat, while Spinnst Du? is a dizzying broadside. And just for good measure, crowd fave Two Gods Short of My Trinity is broken out twice, the second time with Peter of Slugbait hopping the rail for guest vokills. Proper.

A great show from one of the staples of Cork music, and a fitting end to a night that sees €1850 raised for the Shell to Sea campaign. Quality.

Posted Date: 
2 April 2012