The Safety Fire - Camden Barfly, London
Belfast's A Plastic Rose do a fair job of keeping the early punters entertained, due more to a charming frontman than their music to be honest. Akin to a rough version of Biffy Clyro, the jangly rhythms and occasional burst of distorted revelry is ultimately dull and derivative.
The James Cleaver Quintet
are a much more interesting and exciting proposition. A furiously energetic and enthralling set, aside from the odd drift into musical waffle, of post-punk hardcore is enhanced by the addition midway through of some brass band bombast as a pair of saxophones and a trombone join the fun.
Creating waves on the radio with their debut single, as is shown by the assembled mass filling the Barfly tonight, The Safety Fire return home on the eve of the release of their first full length Grind The Ocean. The understated opening is misleading as 'Animal King' bursts into life and the spectacular shredding takes centre stage.
The guitar work of both Joaquin Ardiles and Derya Nagle is remarkable throughout the short but blistering set, fingers dancing up, down and around the frets in a blur of technical supremacy. And yet they never lose the thread of the song, keeping the narrative ahead of any extravagant showmanship.
The post-hardcore proggy metal is lapped up by the throng, and unsurprisingly the biggest cheer is reserved for the finale of that hit single 'Huge Hammers'. What is more startling is how plain and weak it sounds in comparison to the rest of the material The Safety Fire have blasted through this evening, an indication, one hopes, that this upcoming record may be a bit of alright.