Rulers Of The Planet / Mando Diao - Buffalo Bar
You'd expect a band called Rulers Of The World to be at least either arrogant beyond belief or extremely good. Happily, they manage both but it's not really arrogance, it's more the simple confidence that exudes from bunch of people who are completely at ease with the fact that they are each in a shit hot band. Rulers Of The World hail from Ireland, and are blessed with that certain charisma other bands would kill for; lead singer, Barry McGough, is the foundation upon which they build. He's a skinny, sinewy man with a rubber body and a stare of pure malevolence crossed with happy lunacy. 'We might look pikey, but we ain't pikey' he declares, as they launch into another burst of stripped down, quality heavy rock. This is the key to them, it's quality they possess in abundance; the music is rough, dangerous rock 'n' roll, but with the spirit of punk and a clear willingness to experiment with wah-wah pedals and the like. And our Barry is more than a mere presence; he’s actually got a damn fine, warm voice. Musically, their songs are quick fire shots of adrenaline with a hard, sharp edge and are instantly appealing. Give these a chance and they will win you over. There's something of the 'My Red Cell' about them, and if they can keep up this sort of performance, one day soon, they'll blow you away.
Mando Diao, of course, have a taste of success already, at least in their native Sweden, so it was a rammed to the ceiling sort of a night for them, with every Swede in town queuing at the door. It makes for the sort of atmosphere that a band would have to be totally abysmal to spoil and, luckily for all, Mando Diao are far from abysmal. There's something of the 'boy band' about them, but in a good, sort of 1960's sense, rather than the genres recent, more unpleasant, incarnation. A mod band playing ultra-fast, brutal, pop-rock-garage tunes? What more could you ask for? Well, nothing really, and that, perhaps, is the problem. There's not an awful lot there, really. It's all a bit flimsy. Now, they're wonderfully entertaining and perform a blistering, awesome set, but would you really feel the desire to see them again? Probably not, but they're great fun while they last. They invoke comparisons with The Hives with a smattering of The Monkees and then shoved through the punk-blender. They're rather more interesting than The Hives, though. Switching the vocals between members helps, and the great thing in their favour is that they put absolutely everything into this performance. You can feel the energy coming from the stage and that's a wonderful thing. It wouldn't carry so well in a larger venue, but for a setting as intimate as this, Mando Diao are the perfect, but ultimately, lightweight pop performers.
Free entry can be obtained to all Artrocker gigs that happen on a Tuesday at the Buffalo Bar simply by visiting the Artrocker website and registering as a member. It’s easier than falling off a log and completely free.