Gilkicker, The Very and Dead Disco - The Dublin Castle, London

I arrived at the Dublin Castle at 8:15, just in time to catch four skinny guys with identical haircuts scamper eagerly onto the stage. "We're Gilkicker!" declared the one in the middle (helpful, as I hadn't actually got a clue who they were) and, grinning broadly, they launched into their first song.

Despite their wide-eyed charm, Gilkicker's music screams of experience. Their playing has been honed and stripped down, presumably through hours of practice, and is phenomenally tight. Behind this synchronicity, their energetic tunes could have kept them bouncing along for far longer than they were allocated. The night was a showcase of the UK rock finalists in the Diesel-U-Music international music contest, and Gilkicker certainly felt like winners.

A few minutes passed and The Very took to the stage in a flash of pink. Given that there are only two of them, a drummer and a guitarist, they create a surprisingly powerful sound. This is, obviously, a testament to the quality of their arrangements -- melodic and brilliantly sharp.

Unfortuantely, embarassment came during one of their laters songs when the guitarist/singer tried but failed to delegate part of his latter job to the crowd. The vocals were too overdriven, making it impossible to hear what was being said, and nobody dared risk a sing-along wihout knowing the words.

The last band of the night for me (travel arrangements forced me to leave before Quad Riot came on) were Dead Disco, whose lead singer, sadly, seemed to be under the impression that flailing her arms about and jumping around a bit was an acceptable substitute for good singing. While the rest of the band loosely banged out some just-about passable indie numbers, she fiddled around with a synth, which might have worked really well had she not used it to make all the wrong noises. Dead Disco were the exact opposite of Gilkicker -- instead of elegant simplicity, they opted for an irritating and needlessly complex mess. They were the only band on the line-up that hadn't gained a place in the Diesel-U-Music finals -- unsurprising as, unlike both Gilkicker and The Very, they certainly didn't feel like winners.

Last updated: 19/04/2018 04:47:46

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